Bilateral iliopsoas muscle contracture and spinous process impingement in a German Shepherd dog

Ragetly GR, Griffon DJ, Johnson AL, et al.

Vet Surg 2009;38:946-953.

OBJECTIVE: To report diagnosis and treatment of bilateral iliopsoas muscle contracture in a dog with spinous process impingement. STUDY DESIGN: Case report. ANIMALS: German Shepherd dog. METHODS: A dog with chronic progressive lameness, flexion contracture of the coxofemoral joints, severe pain, and decreased femoral reflexes had severe spondylosis bridging the vertebral bodies from L1 to L4 and enlarged dorsal spinous processes from T8 to L6 with impingement and bony proliferation. Ultrasonographic and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings were consistent with fibrosis, mineralization, and atrophy of the iliopsoas muscles bilaterally which was treated by staged tenectomy of the insertions of the iliopsoas muscles. RESULTS: Because of severe perivascular fibrosis, the femoral vessels required ligation. Bilateral iliopsoas muscle tenectomy improved gait and provided pain relief. Histologic findings were consistent with fibrotic myopathy. CONCLUSIONS: Slow progression of severe clinical signs observed bilaterally in this dog differs from previous reports of iliopsoas myopathy. Findings were similar to the fibrotic myopathy of the gracilis or semitendinosus muscles described in dogs. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Iliopsoas muscle abnormalities should be considered in dogs with limited hip extension and pain. MRI is useful for diagnosing muscle fibrosis. Iliopsoas tenectomy may improve clinical function in dogs with fibrotic myopathy.