Orthopaedic surgery is any procedure involving the bones or joints. Orthopaedic surgery can be very complex, requiring a detailed knowledge of the anatomy as well as technical expertise. Specialised equipment is required, including surgical drills, saws and a range of metal implants.
Although all vets can perform surgery, more complex orthopaedic procedures are preferably performed by vets with a higher level of training. This may be a vet with a particular interest in orthopaedic surgery, a vet who has undertaken a certificate in surgery (often gaining Advanced Practitioner status), or a recognised specialist.
All advanced orthopaedic procedures will require imaging to be performed first; usually x-rays and/or a CT scan. This may be performed by your normal vet prior to referral or may be performed by the orthopaedic surgeon. Treatment options will then be discussed with you, including the relevant risks, likely outcome, and an estimate of costs.
Advanced orthopaedic procedures include:
- Surgical management of cranial cruciate ligament rupture (including lateral tibiofabellar suture, TTA, CCW, TPLO)
- Surgical management of patellar luxation (dislocated kneecap)
- Fracture repair
- Management of hip luxation (dislocation)
- Surgical management of humeral intercondylar fissure (HIF) in Spaniels
- Surgical treatment of elbow dysplasia
- Surgical treatment of angular limb deformity
- Joint fusion (arthrodesis) of the carpus or tarsus