Authors of section


Mary Sarah Bergh

Executive Editor

Amy Kapatkin

General Editor

Noel Moens

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Lateral recumbency position

1. Lateral recumbency position

The patient is placed in lateral recumbency on the surgery table with the injured limb uppermost.

Dog lateral recumbency

2. Preparation for surgery of the injured limb

Preparation of the limb is done outside of the surgical suite. The entire limb is clipped circumferentially starting from the vertebral column to just distal to the hock. The clipped hair is vacuumed.

The distal part of the limb is isolated with a non-sterile wrap in a way that allows the limb to be hung during the sterile scrub and draping.

Limb preparation of a dog in lateral recumbency

A general scrub is done before bringing the patient into the operating room.

General scrub of a limb of a dog in lateral recumbency

In the operating room, the limb is put into a hanging limb position. The limb is prepared for aseptic surgery by performing the final sterile surgical scrub.

Hanging limb positioning of a dog in lateral recumbency

3. Draping

Corner drapes are placed around the surgical site and secured with towel clamps. An assistant releases the distal limb from the hung position, while the surgeon sterility grabs and covers the distal limb with a sterile waterproof drape.

Hanging limb positioning of a dog in lateral recumbency

A sterile additional wrap can be added or a sterile bootie can be placed. An extremity or laparotomy drape covering the entire surgery table is recommended on top of the corner drapes.

If desired, a sterile stockinette can be applied and sutured to the edges of the skin incision.

Sterile wrap positioning in a dog in lateral recumbency

An iodine impregnated drape can be used to cover the exposed skin as an alternative to a stockinette or bootie. The goal of these techniques is to minimize touching the skin during the surgery.

lateral recumbency position