What is Orthopedic Surgery?
Orthopedic surgery is the fixing of a bone or joint through invasive or non-invasive surgeries. They can tackle any joint or bone in the skeletal system, and associated soft tissues, including muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.
There are many different types of orthopedic surgeries, however, some are more common than others. These include:
- Tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO): This surgery is used to treat cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injuries. The CCL is the ligament that connects the femur bone to the tibia bone, and it helps keep your pet’s knee stable when he or she walks or runs. If this ligament gets damaged, it cannot hold up your pet’s leg while they walk or run and instead keeps buckling underneath their flexed knee joint.
- Amputation: This is the removal of limbs that have been injured by trauma, illness, or birth defects.
- Bone fracture repair: A procedure to repair damage in the continuity of the bone.
- Stifle arthroscopy: This procedure uses an endoscope so that surgeons can examine areas inside your pet’s stifle joint (the equivalent of its knee). It may also involve some removal of damaged cartilage during this process if it has deteriorated over time due to arthritis or other conditions affecting mobility.
Symptoms of Orthopedic Problems in Pets
There are several causes of orthopedic problems in pets including trauma, infections, cancers, immune disorders, and age-related conditions. Symptoms to look out for include:
- Stiffness and pain
- Limping or difficulty walking
- Swelling of the affected area
What Causes Orthopedic Conditions in Pets?
The causes of orthopedic conditions in pets are many and varied, including inherited conditions and injuries. Other causes include obesity, arthritis and osteoarthritis (the most common), bone cancer (this is a rare cause but can be aggressive if it’s not caught early), hip dysplasia (which can be treated with surgery), patellar luxation (which may require surgery to correct) and elbow dysplasia.
Diagnosing Orthopedic Conditions in Pets
A physical examination by a veterinarian is often enough to diagnose orthopedic conditions in pets. The vet will want to know about the animal’s behavior and the severity of the pain, as well as how long it has been bothering them. If your pet has an abscess or other type of infection, blood tests and urinalysis may be used to look for signs of infection. X-rays can also help determine whether there are breaks or abnormalities in bones that could explain your pet’s pain.
Orthopedic Surgery at VIP Animal Hospital
If your pet is in need of veterinary attention, we’re here to help. Our orthopedic surgeons have performed countless successful surgeries that have gifted many pets with healthier and happier lives. Give us a call today to learn more.