Proper case selection for Ehmer or Figure-8 sling use is critical to a successful outcome. The Ehmer sling was designed to maintain the head of the femur in the acetabulum after closed reduction of a craniodorsal coxofemoral luxation, to prevent weight bearing, and to limit hip motion during healing. It should not be used in dogs with ventral coxofemoral luxation, which should be treated with hobbles to prevent limb abduction.
Related Article: Closed Hip Reduction
Best results are obtained in dogs with acute luxations <24 hours in duration with temperaments amenable to confinement and continual bandage care. Ehmer slings should not be applied to dogs with luxations of >1 week duration, luxations associated with fractures of the adjacent acetabulum, poor hip comformation (hip dysplasia), or dogs that are unable to ambulate on the contralateral limb. Ehmer slings can be difficult to apply in obese or chondrodystrophic dogs. Ehmer slings may be useful after internal fixation of acetabular or femoral head and neck fractures to temporarily prevent weight bearing.