To assess feasibility of the harmonic Osteovue blade (HOB) for use in the soft tissue
approach for dogs undergoing hemilaminectomy and to compare outcomes between dogs
undergoing HOB or traditional approach (TRAD).
A prospective randomized clinical trial was performed using 20 client-owned dogs with thoracolumbar
intervertebral disk extrusion requiring hemilaminectomy. Dogs were randomly
assigned to HOB or TRAD. Neurologic function and pain scores were assessed pre-operatively.
Intraoperative blood loss and surgical approach time as well as postoperative pain
and wound healing scores were recorded. Additionally, neurologic recovery and owner perceived
quality of life were recorded at day 10 and 30 postoperative.
There was no significant difference in sex distribution, weight, age, preoperative neurological
grade and pain score, and perioperative outcome measures between groups. Intraoperative
total blood loss was minimal for HOB and TRAD (median: 0 ml (range 0±9) and 2.2
ml (range 0±6.8), respectively; p = 0.165) and approach times were similar (median: 7 min
(range 5±12) and 8 min (range 5±13), respectively; p = 0.315). While changes in wound healing scores were similar, changes in postoperative pain scores and neurological function
were significantly improved in the HOB compared to the TRAD group. Postoperative complications
in the HOB group consisted of automutilation of part of the incision and development
of a small soft, non-painful subcutaneous swelling in 1 dog each.
The HOB is a safe and effective tool for the soft tissue approach for routine spinal surgery in
dogs and is associated with decreased pain and increased neurological function postsurgery.