The surgery teams at Red Bank Veterinary Hospitals have vast experience in a variety of soft tissue and orthopedic surgeries. Orthopedic surgery involves surgery of your pet’s bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles, which are important structures that require special consideration. Although your family veterinarian can perform many soft tissue surgeries, the complex techniques and specialized equipment used in orthopedic surgery typically require the expertise of a board-certified veterinary surgeon.
If your family veterinarian has diagnosed an orthopedic condition in your pet, the RBVH surgery team can help. We will work with your veterinarian to provide advanced diagnostics, imaging, and the surgical expertise required to return your best friend to health, as soon as possible.
Orthopedic surgeries commonly performed in pets at RBVH
Our surgeons have experience performing a variety of challenging orthopedic surgeries in pets, including:
- Fracture repair — If your pet fractures a bone, a simple cast or splint may not be sufficient. Surgical implants, such as rods, pins, screws, or external fixation devices, often offer the best chance for full recovery.
- Hip replacement — Dogs with hip dysplasia that cannot be adequately managed with medications and therapy may require complete hip replacement surgery. This procedure involves removing the proximal femur and pelvic socket, and replacing them with metal implants, to improve joint mechanics.
- Femoral head ostectomy — Femoral head resection is sometimes indicated for hip joint conditions that cannot be repaired, such as hip dislocation, femoral head necrosis, and some hip dysplasia cases. After femoral head removal, scar tissue forms a “false joint,” which provides joint stability.
- Tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) — Similar to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears in people, cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) disease is a leading cause of canine lameness. TPLO is typically the preferred correction, and involves surgical excision, repositioning, and reattachment of the proximal tibia, to change the tibial plateau’s angle, and stabilize the joint without a CCL.
- Limb amputation — Some conditions, such as severe fractures, limb trauma, and bone cancer, cannot be repaired, and require limb amputation. Our surgery team can perform front or rear limb amputation, to provide relief to painful pets.
- Patellar luxation correction — Pets with patellar luxation often require surgery to deepen the patellar groove, reposition the tibial tuberosity, and reconstruct the surrounding soft tissue structures, to return the patella to its normal position.
Minimally invasive orthopedic surgery at RBVH
We can perform some orthopedic surgeries with minimally invasive techniques, instead of traditional surgical methods. Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) involves inserting surgical instruments and a high-density camera through tiny incisions, instead of making larger incisions through skin and muscle to expose a surgical field. For example, arthroscopy allows surgeons to perform joint surgery with only a few small incisions, rather than opening the entire joint, which imparts many benefits to pets, including:
- Shorter surgery times — Without large incisions to suture, surgery time is considerably decreased.
- Less bleeding — Smaller incisions mean less blood loss, and less trauma for your pet.
- Less pain — Most surgical pain results from incision healing and tissue trauma, which is minimized during MIS.
- Shorter recovery periods — Smaller incisions heal quickly, so your pet can return to function more rapidly.
Although many procedures can be performed with MIS, traditional surgery still provides the best outcomes for some conditions. We will thoroughly evaluate your pet’s orthopedic condition or injury, and determine the best surgical methods.
What to do if you think your pet has an orthopedic injury
If your pet is painful, limping, or cannot walk, she may have an orthopedic injury, and should be evaluated immediately. Start by visiting your family veterinarian or, if a problem suddenly develops when your veterinarian is closed, bring your pet to our emergency service. If an orthopedic injury is suspected, your veterinarian may take X-rays, or refer your pet to RBVH for more advanced imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). If an orthopedic condition that requires surgical repair is diagnosed, our surgery team will gladly partner with your family veterinarian to provide the surgical expertise your pet requires to get back on her feet.
Contact us to find out more about orthopedic surgery options for your pet.