Orthopedic surgery is a branch of veterinary medicine that involves the surgical treatment of ligaments, bones and joints.
These surgical procedures are designed to repair damage and treat disease in joints, tendons, cartilage, bones, or other skeletal structures, and give cats and dogs the ability to move comfortably again.
At Tender Care Animal Hospital in Weldon Spring, our board-certified surgeons offer a variety of orthopedic surgeries to help relieve your pet's pain and improve their quality of life.
We provide a wide range of orthopedic surgeries to treat conditions that may affect cats and dogs. Here are some of the most common orthopedic procedures and frequently asked questions:
Below, you'll find the specific orthopedic surgeries we perform at our hospital for cats and dogs. While our own board-certified orthopedic surgeons perform some of these procedures, we occasionally have other surgeons come in to conduct certain procedures.
Femoral Head and Neck Excision (FHNE) refers to the removal of femoral head and neck of the femur to eliminate the bone-on-bone contact of the hip. It is a straightforward hip surgery designed to treat conditions affecting the hips, pelvis, and hind legs in dogs and cats.
Specifically, this procedure may be used to treat a dislocated hip (particularly in cats) or recurrent hip luxation; a broken femoral head and/or femoral neck; end-stage hip arthritis, and Legg-Perthes disease (a developmental hip condition).
This surgery requires significant planning and measuring to ensure the cut is made in precisely the correct location and at just the right angle, without compromising any of the important soft tissues, blood vessels, and nerves in the surrounding area.
Leg fractures are a common orthopedic issue for pets and typically result from being hit by a motor vehicle. We're able to treat these injuries in a variety of ways depending on the type of fracture and its location.
In some circumstances, we can wrap the limb in a cast to treat certain fractures. However, a cat or dog will need surgical intervention for many types of fractures. Metal screws, pins, rods, or plates may be used to hold the bone in place while it heals.
TPLO is a popular surgical procedure used to mend a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in cats and dogs. A ruptured cruciate ligament leads to a loss of stability, which causes stress on the joint and injuries to its supporting structures. Essentially, your pet will lose the ability to use the knee joint to run and jump, and will develop subsequent arthritis and injuries.
During this surgical procedure, the knee joint will be altered to allow for stability again. Once the corrected angle has been determined, a metal plate will be fixed to the bone, allowing the tibia to heal in its new location, and returning full function to your cat or dog's leg.
This highly effective surgical procedure is often used to treat hip problems due to injury, old age, and genetics in cats and smaller dogs.
During this procedure, the veterinary surgeon will remove the femoral head, leaving the socket portion of the hip empty. While scar tissue will hold the femur in place initially, over time a "false joint" will form and the scar tissue will act as a cushion between the femur and the acetabulum.
Following surgery, your pet's mobility may be restored.
Here are some commonly asked questions clients have had about orthopedic surgery. Feel free to contact us with any other inquiries you may have.
If your pet is not a regular patient of Tender Care Animal Hospital and has not seen us for a routine physical exam, we will conduct an orthopedic surgical consultation to better understand the condition of your dog or cat's joints, bones, and ligaments.
Next, we'll perform diagnostic tests, including bloodwork, to ensure that your companion is healthy enough for anesthesia and the recommended surgical procedure.
Because each patient's circumstances and surgery are different, we will only understand the true extent of the problem once the procedure has begun, so an accurate estimate of duration may be difficult to determine.
However, orthopedic surgeries typically take between two to four hours depending on the type of surgery being performed.
These types of veterinary surgical procedures are the most effective measures we can take to correct bone injuries and joint conditions in cats and dogs.
Your pet's limb should return to a near-normal state following recovery from surgery that's been performed by a board-certified veterinary orthopedic surgeon.
In most cases, dogs and cats will recover from orthopedic surgery, and start acting like themselves again, in about two to three months. Keep in mind, however, that a full recovery could take upwards of six months.
During their recovery, you'll need to provide at-home care as directed by your veterinary surgeon and restrict your pet's exercise to prevent them from jumping, running, or having unlimited access to stairs while the surgical site heals.
Your veterinarian or veterinary surgeon may also recommend cold laser therapy to encourage healing after surgery.
Tender Care Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of companion animals in Weldon Spring and the St. Charles area. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.