It can be an amazing experience for a pet owner to watch their cat racing through their home, leaping from one piece of furniture to the next, or to see their dog leap in the air to catch a Frisbee in the yard or the local dog park. In most cases, pets enjoy their play time just as much as their owners enjoy watching them, but over time all those acrobatics begin to take their toll on a pet’s body and the time comes when it’s not so fun anymore. It is important that pet owners pay attention to signs that their pets are in pain and the possibility that they may need medical attention beyond ordinary veterinary care or that they may even require orthopedic surgery.
Types of Orthopedic Surgeries
Just like humans, your pets can tear their ACL. This injury occurs most commonly in canines but the occasionally a feline experiences this injury as well. It is important to know what your options are in regards to restoring this injury and giving your pet the best chance at getting their paws back underneath them. The two main surgeries that we recommend are: TPLO or Orthozip. It’s very important to get regular check-ups as a torn ACL may be something your pet could be hiding as they are not always major but still need to be addressed.
There are various types of pet orthopedic surgery that may potentially help your pet. Some are designed to repair a fracture or heal a ligament or joint. Sometimes, pets also need hip or knee replacement, surgery for problems with their elbow or shoulder joints, or surgery to correct a disc herniation. Some of these options may be more invasive than others, but our vets are ready to discuss the possible procedures as well as recovery strategies to make the experience as easy to handle as possible.
An Orthozip surgery is basically a man made tendon. Our veterinarian goes in and removes the injured tendon and any damaged meniscus. Then two screws are drilled into the bone, one in the tibia and the other in the femur, both near the kneecap area. A very strong wire is looped around the two screws, which when complete acts like a brand new tendon. With just one incision needed to do this procedure, recovery time is much faster than other methods.
TPLO (tibial-plateau-leveling osteotomy) Surgery
If you're like me, you don’t care how to pronounce it, you just want your pet feeling better. Although this procedure is more invasive it is considered the stronger of the two ACL repairs. The doctor opens up the knee area, cleans and removes the damaged ACL and tissue, cuts the bone, and rotates it to a position when the femur can bear all its weight on the tibia bone and a plate and screws are set. Since bones heal differently than muscle, no scar tissue forms and the bone heals tremendously well allowing your pet to get his paws back underneath him in no time.