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Intertarsal Joint Stabilization in a Bateleur Eagle (Terathopius ecaudatus) Using a Novel Application of a Braided Suture and Titanium Button System.

  • Author(s): Gjeltema, Jenessa
  • De Voe, Ryan S
  • Minter, Larry J
  • Trumpatori, Brian J
  • et al.

A 32-year-old adult captive male bateleur eagle (Terathopius ecaudatus) with a history of laxity, degenerative joint disease, and varus deviation of the distal left hindlimb for several years was presented for evaluation of left hindlimb lameness and was diagnosed with chronic subluxation of the left intertarsal joint. After failing to improve with conservative management and pain medication, surgical stabilization of the joint was performed using a novel application of a braided suture and titanium button system. Unsatisfactory clinical improvement and postsurgical reevaluation indicated that the initial surgical stabilization was unsuccessful. The surgery was repeated, and the animal showed postsurgical improvement in intertarsal joint stability, weight-bearing, and lameness for a period of several years with use and adjustment of chronic pain medications. The novel surgical technique described in this case report represents an additional treatment option for management of avian intertarsal joint subluxations. Presurgical planning should consider the unique anatomic features and variability of the avian tarsometatarsus to avoid surgical complications.

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