Authors of section


Cassio Ferrigno

Executive Editor

Amy Kapatkin

General Editor

Noel Moens

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Dorsal recumbency (hanging limb)

The dog is placed in dorsal or lateral oblique recumbency (with affected limb down) on the surgery table with the injured limb hanging. This exposes the medial part of the tibia and allows the limb to be draped completely.

external fixator

Positioning the dog in dorsal recumbency allows for better visual assessment of the limb alignment. The limb hanging during preparation facilitates traction on the fracture and fracture alignment.

1. 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 medial femur to the end of the metatarsal bones. The clipped hair is vacuumed.

The tarsus and metatarsus are isolated with a non-sterile wrap in a way that allows the limb to be hung during the sterile scrub and draping. A general scrub is done before bringing the patient into the operating room.

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.

2. Draping

Corner drapes are placed around the surgical site and secured with towel clamps.

A non-sterile assistant releases the distal limb from the hung position while the surgeon sterilely grabs and covers the distal limb.

lateral oblique recumbency

An optional step is to cover the entire limb with a sterile water-resistant drape.

lateral oblique recumbency

An extremity or laparotomy drape covering the entire surgery table is recommended on top of the corner drapes.

lateral oblique recumbency

Betadine impregnated plastic drape that sticks to the skin can be used at the side of the incision, preventing the surgeon contacting the skin during the operation.

lateral oblique recumbency

Overview of patient draped and instrument tables.

lateral oblique recumbency