From Mike Guilliard MA VetMB CertSAO FRCVS
UPDATE: July 18, 2020: Flexor Tenotomy for the treatment of corns
A corn forms from repeated focal mechanical pressure to the digital pad. If this pressure is removed, the dog will rapidly become free of lameness and the corn will exfoliate in under eight weeks and not return.
The original tenotomy method involved cutting both the superficial and deep digital flexor tendons at the level of the first phalanx. This results in a flattened digit with the nail being elevated from the ground and protruding cranially. This has proved to be a very successful procedure in over 100 cases with very few complications, the worst being in two cases where the proximal interphalangeal joint hyperextended. This procedure proved unsuitable in cases with other foot deformities such as a missing digit, a dropped digit from previous tendon damage or an additional corn.
SUPERFICIAL DIGITAL FLEXOR TENOTOMY alone is now the recommended procedure as the results are comparable with a full digital tenotomy. The digit is again dropped but is not completely flat to the ground with the nail again protruding cranially but staying in contact with the ground giving an aesthetically better appearance.
As with the original procedure, the foot is held by an assistant with the digit held in forced extension. The SDFT is easily palpable under the skin at the distal third of the metacarpus/tarsus. A small linear incision is made over the tendon and it is isolated by passing curved mosquito forceps under it enabling it to be incised. Both ends of the tendon should then be separated from each other. It is important to explore the wound to ensure that all of the tendon bundles have been cut. The DDFT will be seen lying separately just under the SDFT and this is not cut.
THE CORN IS NOT TOUCHED and will exfoliate naturally.
A tourniquet is not necessary.
A protective dressing is applied for the first 24 hours and lead exercise is recommended for one week only.