Orthopedic Surgery

Bone and joint disease is one of the most common problems in dogs and cats. While we do everything we can to provide comfort through non-surgical methods, it is often most advantageous to perform orthopedic surgery.

One common condition we see is called Patellar Luxation. This means the kneecap is out of place, usually to the inside of the knee joint, and this produces pain by stretching the joint capsule. Our veterinarians perform a corrective procedure called a Tibial Crest Transposition and Wedge Trochleoplasty. This involves shifting a sliver of the tibia bone over a few millimeters and pinning it into a new position, allowing the kneecap to remain in its proper place.

Another common condition is Cranial Cruciate Ligament (in people, this is the ACL) Rupture. This is more common in large breed dogs, but also can occur in small dogs or cats. There are many reasons for this, including the animal's size and the angle in which the femur sits atop the tibia. If the cruciate ligament ruptures, the instability causes a significant amount of pain. Our surgical procedure removes the torn ligament from the knee joint, as well as stabilizes the knee joint with an implant. This implant may be a nylon line or a fibrous implant, and we use anchor points that allow it to mimic the original plane of the cruciate ligament.

These are two examples of common orthopedic conditions warranting surgery, however there are many other procedures we perform, such as placing external fixators for fractured bones, inserting pins to stabilize fractures, and femoral head ostectomies, in which we remove a painfully arthritic or dislocated femoral head from a hip joint. Regardless of which procedure is performed, proper sterility and pain control is imperative. We use anti-inflammatory medications, pain-minimizing anesthetic protocols, and revolutionary opiate products that provide superior pain relief. Our nursing staff is wonderful at caring for the animals in recovery and assessing pain, to allow us to taylor the pain-prevention plan to the individual animal. Painful animals are anxious and fearful, and we ensure this is entirely minimized for all procedures, including orthopedic surgeries.

Orthopedic Surgery