Blue’s Physiotherapy Success

Beautiful 2-year-old collie Blue was referred to our Orthopaedic team as she was lame and in pain. She had CT scans and ultrasound imaging to confirm the diagnosis of chronic bicipital tendinopathy, that can cause severe weight bearing lameness. Blue was given a steroid injection in her tendon sheaf to try to relieve the pain. Since her diagnosis Blue had been restricted to five-minute walks on the lead, two to three times a day to prevent any further injury whilst her tendon was healing.

Bicipital tendinopathy is a condition which requires careful management to avoid re-injury, so she was referred to our Physiotherapy team. The aim of Blue’s physiotherapy treatment was to prevent the necessity of a more invasive surgical intervention.

Blue attended an initial assessment two weeks after her diagnosis with Lisa Roberts, one of our Veterinary Physiotherapists. Upon assessment Blue was two out of ten lame on her right front leg with a head nod in walk and trot. Blue also offloaded her leg when she was standing and sitting and showed signs of discomfort when you touched it.

Lisa began by treating Blue with therapeutic ultrasound twice a week which continued for four weeks. Therapeutic ultrasound can help to realign tendon fibres, reducing scar tissue formation and subsequently aiding healing.

Alongside these sessions, Lisa created a home rehabilitation programme focusing on encouraging loading of Blue’s right leg to improve her core stability and increase her muscle and tendon strength. Lisa also provided advice to Blue’s owners about adaptations at home to assist in her rehabilitation journey. Blue was reassessed every two weeks and her programme was adapted in line with her progress.

Following a month of rehabilitation Blue was reassessed by our Orthopaedic team and they discharged her from their service but advised she needed to continue with physiotherapy and begin hydrotherapy in an underwater treadmill.

Blue was now sound in walk and trot and comfortable on palpation and manipulation of her tendon. Blue’s owners were so happy as it seemed that Blue was a lot more comfortable at home and was beginning to act more like herself again!

At this point the therapeutic ultrasound treatment was stopped, and Blue was able to begin increasing her exercise by five minutes per walk each week. Following another month of rehabilitation Blue was able to walk for 25 minutes, 3 times a day without showing any signs of discomfort. Blue was visibly more comfortable and loading more evenly. She is now also doing another 10 min walk a day and a physio session twice a day for 15-20 mins which Blue really loves!

Blue’s owner is delighted with her progress so far which would not have been possible without their dedication to Blue’s rehabilitation, she said “I feel incredibly supported by Lisa which is fantastic.”