Speaking with clients about hip dysplasia (Proceedings) - Veterinary Healthcare


Speaking with clients about hip dysplasia (Proceedings)


Total hip replacement

Total hip replacement can yield excellent postoperative results. Implants are secured either with cement or by a biologic "press fit" where bony ingrowth occurs in beads on the implant. Although there is currently no comparative study on long term loosening of cemented versus press fit hips, the assumption is that very young dogs (those 12 to 18 months of age) are likelier to avoid loosening problems long term with a press fit hip. Many surgeons still have a greater degree of experience with cemented hips and newer cementing techniques produce very good results. In a recent study of cemented total hip replacement, the overall complication rate was 12 %. Luxation occurred in 7 % of cases and aseptic loosening in 2 %. Clients need to be aware of potential complications. Luxation between the femoral head and acetabular components can occur and is at highest risk within the first 40 days after surgery. If this complication occurs it is generally resolved by replacing the cup at a different angle. Infection is the worst complication to occur because it requires removal of implants. The risk of infection is extremely low. Dogs must be scrutinized for any pre-existing infection prior to surgery. Skin, ear, dental or urinary tract infections are diagnosed and treated prior to surgery.

Femoral head and neck ostectomy

Femoral head and neck ostectomy is a salvage procedure for hip pain. Dogs can do very well with an FHO. Good results require postoperative rehabilitation. Range of motion exercises to maintain joint extension are very important. Postoperative walking, swimming or underwater treadmill are also advised. NSAID therapy is recommended for approximately 6 weeks after FHO. In my experience it can take 6 months to have very good walking on the operated leg whereas a THR yields a faster return of function. Larger breed dogs can also do well with an FHO with postoperative rehabilitation.


Guest editorial. Food for thought on canine developmental orthopedic disease. Vet Surg 35:211-13, 2006.

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