Surgical repair of elbow luxation in raptors

Janette Ackermann, Patrick Redig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Twelve raptors that were brought to The Raptor Center from July 1995 to July 1996 with elbow luxations are described. Lateral and anteroposterior radiographic views confirmed the diagnosis in all birds. Because the luxations could not be reduced manually, regardless of the duration of the injury, surgery was elected. After repair, a transarticular external skeletal fixator or a figure-eight wing wrap was applied. All birds were anesthetized with isoflurane for physical therapy every other day, beginning 5 to 6 days after surgery. Of the 12 birds, a first-year peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), an adult eastern screech-owl (Otus asio), and a merlin (Falco columbarius) regained full flight and were released. Each of these three birds presented with a closed, caudodorsal luxation of the elbow and rupture of the transverse radioulnar ligament. Of the remaining nine birds, one died of complications unrelated to the luxation, five were euthanatized at admission or intraoperatively, and three were euthanatized because of various complications after surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-254
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Avian Medicine and Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997


  • Elbow luxation
  • Raptors
  • Surgery
  • Transarticular external skeletal fixator

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