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Femoral Head Osteotomy From Your St. Norbert Animal Hospital

When your pet is hobbling around, hopping instead of walking, refusing to play and experiencing obvious pain, you know you have to do something about his troublesome hip condition -- but what? Degenerative joint problems and acute injuries may leave your pet lame and miserable for the rest of his life without surgical intervention, but the right procedure can restore both his mobility and his quality of life. Even if a total hip replacement seems out of the question, there's another, less-invasive procedure that many pets can benefit from. This procedure is called a femoral head osteotomy, and we're proud to offer it here at St. Norbert Animal Hospital.

Femoral Head Osteotomy

Hip Conditions That May Call for Surgery

Sometimes an acute injury to the hip, such as a shattered femoral head or hip socket, calls for immediate emergency surgery to repair or replace the joint. More commonly, however, chronic degenerative conditions and/or wear and tear can lead to slowly-worsening hip problems that might only be resolvable through surgical alteration. Examples of such conditions include:

  • Severe osteoarthritis - Osteoarthritis in the hip joint may no longer respond to anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers once the bone-to-bone friction becomes severe enough.
  • Hip dysplasia - This congenital growth abnormality causes instability in the hip that can turn into osteoarthritis.
  • Legg Calve Perthes Disease - This odd medical condition causes the femoral head (the "ball" in the ball-and-socket joint) to soften and eventually break apart.
  • Frequent dislocations - Once a hip becomes dislocated, it may be prone to recurring dislocation.

When and How Your Veterinarian in Winnipeg Performs Femoral Head Osteotomy

Either vet on our team, Dr. Braha or Dr. Brar, may recommend surgery if your pet's hip condition is ruining his mobility and comfort. While a total hip replacement is considered the primary form of surgical treatment, there's no denying that the implantation of an artificial joint in place of the natural one can be a pricey and invasive operation -- possibly to invasive to be ideal for some pets. For smaller dogs and cats, we may recommend femoral head osteotomy as an alternative.

In a femoral head osteotomy, your veterinarian in Winnipeg simply removes the abnormal ball of the femur altogether, without implanting any kind of replacement. Scar tissue then grows around the area the femoral head once occupied, acting as a kind of substitute. The muscles of the hip work with the scar tissue to stabilize the joint. Your pet will have one leg slightly shorter than the other after the procedure, which may affect his stance and gait -- but he will be much more comfortable and mobile.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Winnipeg Veterinarian

Don't let an orthopedic emergency or degenerative hip damage limit your best friend's ability to enjoy life. Call our vet clinic at 204-261-7376 for a consultation to determine whether femoral head osteotomy or some other procedure can help!

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