by Dr Tim Bowden, Progressive Vet Care, Malvern East, VIC
This tensioner is for use with typical De Angelis cruciate repair sutures. I’ve been using it for a couple of years and have had very good results.
What’s good about it
In the past, before I owned this tensioner, I needed one of the nurses to provide a degree of tension so I was able to reduce the cranial draw of the knee. This would effectively stabilise the knee.
By using this instrument, you can attach small tensioning devices along with Gelpi retractors to provide the tension. The Gelpi allow me to click forward until I achieve just the right degree of tension. I always start with low tension and then slowly increase it until the draw is reduced but there’s still a good range of motion.
Using the tensioner means I can complete the procedure as a single person without the need for a nurse and a lot of other kinds of instruments. It effectively frees up a nurse to concentrate on the things like anaesthesia.
I use the tensioner for all my cruciate ligament repair work and have been very happy with the way it works.
What’s not so good
For what is a pretty simple part of the procedure, the tensioner requires quite a bit of set-up. It’s important to get it attached correctly, and it requires a bit of manipulation with the Gelpis to provide an adequate length and extension.
When working on smaller dogs, there is also quite a bit of hardware in the way when attempting to test the cranial draw and range of motion.