Objective: To compare the effects of bandaging on immediate postoperative swelling using a modified Robert-Jones bandage after tibial plateau levelling osteotomy (TPLO) in dogs.
Study design: Prospective case series.
Methods: Dogs undergoing a TPLO were randomly placed into two groups. Group 1 received a modified Robert-Jones bandage postoperatively for a 24 hour period and Group 2 was not bandaged. Hindlimb circumference was measured at the level of the mid-patella, the distal aspect of the tibial crest, the mid-point of the tibial diaphysis and the hock. Measurements were recorded and compared in each group preoperatively and at 24 hours and 48 hours post-operatively. Interobserver variability was compared between the two observers.
Results: There was no significant difference in postoperative swelling, as measured by the percentage change in circumference, between bandaged and unbandaged operated limbs after the TPLO at 24 and 48 hours at any site. Some significant differences in measurement at particular sites were observed between the two different observers, but there was a significant linear correlation at all sites between observers. The observer with the least experience consistently had slightly higher measurements at these sites.
Clinical relevance: The use of a modified Robert-Jones bandage after TPLO did not prevent statistically significant postoperative swelling, and thus may not be indicated for this purpose. Postoperative bandages placed to control swelling after other small animal orthopaedic procedures should be evaluated individually for efficacy.