& Management / Disease
Investigation & Management / Techniques:
||A hinged brace stabilises the
hock joint in long-legged birds against medio-lateral movement while
maintaining the bird's ability to bend and use the leg. (P1.1997.w12)
- Anaesthetise the bird.
- Apply padding (microfoam padded tape) to the leg proximal and distal
to the affected joint to protect the skin against friction rubbing by
- Align the brace along the medial and lateral aspects of the leg,
centred on the hock, such that the centre of the hinge matches the point
of flexion/extension of the joint.
- Use stainless steel surgical wire looped through each end of the
brace armature and interweave between layers of adhesive tape attaching
the brace securely to the padding on the leg.
- Leave for an adequate length of time to allow healing.
- In a Mississippi crane with probable medial collateral ligament
rupture, the brace was placed for four weeks with a soft bandage
providing minimal support for a further week after the brace was
|Appropriate Use (?)
- To provide mediolateral joint stabilisation while maintaining use of
both legs (allowing full range of motion) during healing of soft tissue
joint injuries such as medial collateral ligament injury. (P1.1997.w12)
- This avoids the problems which are seen associated with
immobilisation of long-legged birds in slings. (P1.1997.w12)
- A Mississippi sandhill crane with joint laxity, medial hock swelling
and persistent lameness walked normally (no obvious lameness)
immediately on recovering from anaesthesia after being fitted with a
hinged brace. (P1.1997.w12)
- Has been used successfully in cranes, storks and flamingos. (P1.1997.w12)
|Complications/ Limitations / Risk
||Risk of rubbing if inadequate
padding; risk of inadequate stabilisation if excessive padding or improper
|Equipment / Chemicals required and Suppliers
|Expertise level / Ease of Use
||This procedure should be
carried out by an individual with appropriate clinical training and
||Appropriate hinged brace may
not always be available.
|Legal and Ethical Considerations
||Inappropriate use or poor
application of this technique may cause further suffering to the bird and
have implications under animal welfare legislation.
||Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD