Clinical outcome and complications of thoracic and pelvic limb stump and socket prostheses.

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To describe the use, quality of life, compliance, complications, and outcome of animals fitted with stump socket prostheses.


Medical records of dogs fitted with a stump socket prosthesis were reviewed. Functional outcome, quality of life and complications were retrospectively assessed from an owner questionnaire.


Thirteen stump socket prostheses (12 dogs) were fitted for a variety of reasons including trauma, congenital abnormalities, and neoplasia. Eight dogs had a good outcome overall and four a poor outcome. Quality of life (QOL) remained good or excellent in 10/12 dogs. Nine complications were seen in 7/12 dogs, most were manageable; surgical wound complications (n = 2) and pressures sores (n = 4) were the most frequently encountered. One dog suffered multiple complications. Thoracic and pelvic limb stump socket prostheses had a similar complication rate, however all animals with a poor outcome had a thoracic limb stump socket prosthesis; two were small breed dogs (under 10 kg) and two had bilateral thoracic limb abnormalities.


Stump socket prostheses are feasible and versatile in animals. In correctly selected cases, good to excellent outcomes are possible. However, complications are frequent but often manageable. Further investigations are required into the risk factors for poor outcomes and prospective studies are required to assess changes in biomechanics, function, and QOL before and after fitting of a stump socket prosthesis. Until further evidence is available, careful consideration should be given before fitting bilateral thoracic limb stump socket prostheses or thoracic limb stump socket prostheses to small breed dogs.

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