The tarsus is the “ankle” of the cat, made up by a number of bones and the metatarsals are a series of bones that connect the tarsus to the toes of the cat. Tarsometatarsal luxation/subluxation is when the metatarsal bones become disconnected from the tarsus. This can occur with some of the metatarsal bones, or all of them if severe enough.
Most commonly it will occur with trauma such as a traffic accident.
Cats with tarsometatarsal luxation/subluxation are acutely non-weight bearing on the affected limb.
If this is suspected then the vet will assess the stability of the limb with a series of stretches and movements. X-rays under sedation may also be needed to establish a definitive diagnosis.
Non-surgical treatment is often unrewarding and in general, most cases will require surgery. The surgery that will be performed will depend on the degree of luxation and which bones are affected:
Strict rest and regular checks are required in the weeks following surgery. X-rays will be taken in order to assess the healing process.
Most cats recover well from surgery and achieve a very favourable outcome.
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