Orthopedic problems can inhibit a pet’s ability to happily walk, play, and stand up. Orthopedic surgery is a corrective skeletal surgery intended to alleviate problems with tendons, ligaments, joints, bones, and muscles.
If your pet has been involved in an accident or has experienced trauma, prompt X-rays can determine whether bone fracture or further injury has occurred. Pets don’t always exhibit external indications of pain and may need to undergo orthopedic surgery to fix or prevent complications.
We have an outside surgeon who comes in for our more complicated procedures, such as ACL rupture and patellar luxation. Complicated fractures or dislocations requiring surgical repair are typically referred out.
Common orthopedic surgical procedures:
How are bone fractures repaired?
The most common orthopedic procedure is dealing with fractured bones. Simple fractures can be reset using a cast or splint and typically do not require surgery. If a fracture is displaced, surgery is usually necessary to give bones stability. A surgical procedure for bone fracture caters to each individual case, but the following methods are most commonly used:
Surgical plating – A metal plate is aligned next to the fracture and holes are drilled into the bone so pins can be inserted to permanently fixate the plate to support the bone.
Pin fixation – A metal pin is surgically inserted into the fractured bone.
External fixation – Pins are surgically connected to the fractured bones and are then attached outside of the skin with rods and clamps.
Regardless of whether your pet has a cast or surgery, fractures can take up to four months to heal. The care process also requires owner involvement; after your pet’s fracture is treated, we will give you proper care instructions relative to the procedure performed. In some cases, orthotic devices such as walkers or braces can be custom made to support the fracture in addition to the cast or surgery performed. If either of these is required for mobility, the veterinarian will inform you during the treatment planning phase.