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Asking for a friend -- ligament damage

flyzipper

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Does anyone have experience dealing with ligament damage in birds?
  • Background: the store I shop at has a B&G macaw who suffered damage to the joint of one of his legs during an accident.
  • Diagnosis: x-rays show a separation of the knee joint between the femur and tibia (they're clearly no longer connected in the image I saw).
  • Complication: before they went to an avian vet for x-rays, they gave him time to see if the lameness would mend itself (I think they left it for 2 weeks).
During the initial consultation, the vet said they had, "left it too long", and that in cases like this the ligament, "dries out", when it's detached for that long and therefore cannot be repaired.

Any insights?


1668550877497.png
 

Aviphile

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Not with birds but with myself and with dogs. I have patella tracking problems and have had several torn ligaments in my left leg. My male dog Cammy has patella tracking problems too, I have taken him to see a Orthopedic Vet.

I agree with the Vet. Ligaments are support structures and if its torn loose or if is just torn it needs to be repaired as quickly as possible. It will dry out and that means that it shrunk in size even if the Vet did reattach it, it would most likely cause that bird so much pain by pulling his leg in to an awkward position because of the shortening.

How is the bird getting around now? Can he perch? Walk?
 

Pixiebeak

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We did some stuff with wading birds, cranes, kori buster( heck if I can spell) and wildlife...external fixation and joint fusion pin i think...not ideal and standing verse perching..

There are avian orthopedic specialists out there, contacting a school.of veterinarian medicine would be where I'd start.

You might have luck searching the science journals .
 

flyzipper

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How is the bird getting around now? Can he perch? Walk?
I didn't observe him myself, but the owner said he's able to walk on the ground using the leg as a "crutch", and is able to climb the side of his cage to the food bowl in order to eat and poop because he doesn't like pooping on the floor of his enclosure. I don't know if he has use of this foot.

We did some stuff with wading birds...
There are avian orthopedic specialists out there, contacting a school.of veterinarian medicine would be where I'd start.
You might have luck searching the science journals .
I'll take a look thanks.

If it can't be repaired (I'm still hopeful something is possible), I'm curious/concerned about the potential for additional damage to the surrounding soft tissues of his leg -- as in a compound fracture (not sure if the bone ends are sharp enough to penetrate skin). I'm not sure if the tendons are still attached, but without the secure "hinge" of the ligament, I'd expect the end of the bones to put pressure on the surrounding soft tissues.

Crude drawing after having looked at the x-ray for 30 seconds...

1668564719179.png
(left - normal, right - separation)​
 

Aviphile

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I didn't observe him myself, but the owner said he's able to walk on the ground using the leg as a "crutch", and is able to climb the side of his cage to the food bowl in order to eat and poop because he doesn't like pooping on the floor of his enclosure. I don't know if he has use of this foot.



I'll take a look thanks.

If it can't be repaired (I'm still hopeful something is possible), I'm curious/concerned about the potential for additional damage to the surrounding soft tissues of his leg -- as in a compound fracture (not sure if the bone ends are sharp enough to penetrate skin). I'm not sure if the tendons are still attached, but without the secure "hinge" of the ligament, I'd expect the end of the bones to put pressure on the surrounding soft tissues.

Crude drawing after having looked at the x-ray for 30 seconds...

View attachment 417180
(left - normal, right - separation)​
Avian bones are difficult to work with, you know lighter for flight and all plus small. I am sure that there is something out that they can do either internal or just an external wrap or brace for support, there should be something.
 

MnGuy

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Ok, let me first say I have no experience with ligament tears in birds.

However, I have experience with ligament tears in my own body. I was a runner when I was younger and tore my MCL twice. What doctors told me is that because ligaments don't have blood vessels running through them like bones and muscle do, they can wait longer to repair them. I had to wait two weeks for my surgery after I completely tore my ligament in half (was on crutches the whole time). They almost made me wait three weeks.

Thirteen years later and I’m fine.

Obviously bird bodies are very different from human bodies, but I’d say it’s worth getting a second opinion or seeing a specialist, if one exists.
 

flyzipper

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I was a runner when I was younger and tore my MCL twice... Thirteen years later and I’m fine...
This is why I'm holding out hope.

Volleyball player here, and it feels like every other person I've competed against has had ACL surgery and I know they waited months due to Canada's public health system.

Obviously bird bodies are very different...
Agreed, and so is their ability to follow instructions to rest and perform physical therapy during recovery.
 
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