Orthopedics is a broad term used to describe the diagnosis and treatment of bone and joint abnormalities. The two most common classes of orthopedic disease we see are fractures and joint disease. Fractures (broken bones) are common occurrences in dogs and cats resulting most frequently from car accidents. The same techniques used by human surgeons are applied to repair fractures in dogs and cats. These include bone plates and screws, pins and wire, interlocking nails, and external devices, such as external fixators and splints. Dogs and cats also frequently develop joint problems; the most common of which are cruciate ligament tears, hip dysplasia, osteochondritis dessicans and patellar luxation. Management of these conditions may require medical or surgical intervention. In some cases we can avoid open surgery and instead opt for a minimally-invasive approach called arthroscopy. In arthroscopy instruments and a tiny camera are passed into the joint through small incisions to perform the procedure.
Unfortunately our pets can have accidents resulting in joint and bone injuries. All of the techniques and technology available for the management of injuries in people are also available to help our pets walk and run well again.