What is orthopedic surgery?
Orthopedic surgery for dogs and cats consists of surgical procedures that address the joints, skeletal system and their associated soft tissues, including muscles, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.
Orthopedic surgery, in general, employs surgical procedures to restore a dog or cat's limb to normal or near-normal function. Orthopedic surgery is one of the most effective methods of treating a dog or cat with a bone injury or joint condition.
Our advanced imaging and diagnostic tools help us provide an accurate and effective orthopedic diagnosis for dogs and cats.
If you have any questions regarding orthopedic surgery or are curious about your dog or cat's upcoming orthopedic surgery, please feel free to contact us.
Common Orthopedic Conditions
There is a wide range of orthopedic conditions that affect cats and dogs. The following are among the most common:
Hip dysplasia is the medical term for a hip socket that does not completely cover the ball portion of the upper thighbone, allowing the hip joint to dislocate partially or completely. German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and other large breed dogs are the most prone to hip dysplasia.
Total hip replacement is one of the most effective surgical treatments for hip dysplasia. The surgeon replaces the entire joint with metal and plastic implants, returning hip function to a more normal range.
Cruciate Ligament Tears
To prevent arthritis, torn cruciate ligaments in dogs must be surgically repaired. Numerous surgical procedures can be used to repair this injury, and the type used is usually determined by the size of the dog.
Cruciate repair surgery for dogs aims to provide stability to the joint improving mobility and reducing pain.
The patella (knee cap) is located in a cartilaginous groove at the stifle end of the femur. When the knee cap moves out of its natural position, this is referred to as a luxating patella. Knee cap issues are common in a wide range of dogs, both large breeds and small breeds.
Surgery is usually recommended for animals that have significant lameness as a result of a luxating patella. The goal of surgery is to keep the patella in its appropriate location at all times.
Dogs, like humans, can suffer from disc problems in their necks and backs. Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, Dachshunds, and Lhasa Apsos are among the breeds most prone to neck disc problems. Large-breed dogs, such as German Shepherds, are more likely to have chronic lower back pain.
Dogs with advanced disc disease should normally have surgery as soon as possible. The sooner that surgery is done, the better the prognosis usually is.
Orthopedic Surgery FAQs
- What happens during the surgical consultation?
During the surgical consultation, we will perform a physical exam and review your pet’s medical history. Bloodwork and any other diagnostic tests that are needed to determine the nature of your pet's condition will also be undertaken at this time.
Diagnostics may include x-rays or an ultrasound. Once the results are back, a plan for surgery is developed and discussed with you.
- Will the surgery and consultation happen on the same day?
No. The consultation appointment is required for testing and examination, to determine the nature of your pet's health problem. Once any diagnostic test results have come back from our lab, a surgery appointment can be scheduled.
- How long will the surgery take?
Orthopedic surgeries typically last between two to four hours, depending on the type of surgery being performed and on your pet’s specific condition.
- Does my pet have to stay at the hospital overnight either before or after the surgery?
Depending on the time of day that the surgery is scheduled, it may be necessary to drop your pet off the night before.
Many of our patients need to stay with us overnight after surgery so that we can monitor them as they recover. Depending on the type of surgery that is performed and how quickly they recover after anesthesia and surgery, your pet may be able to go home on the same day.