Total hip replacement (THR) is the only surgery that returns full hip joint mobility. Dogs from five pounds - to over 200 pounds - are eligible for hip replacements, and cats are no exception! Greater than 95% of dogs receiving BioMedtrix THR enjoy active lives without exercise restriction and should be able to use their durable, new hip for the remainder of their lives.
Surgeons at ACOSM prefer the highly customizable BioMedtrix line of total hip replacement products. A broad array of implant sizes including cemented and cementless components allow the surgeon to treat hip problems in a wide range of patients and disease conditions. Since its inception, surgeons have performed over 54,000 successful canine hip replacement procedures.
The surgeon begins by talking to the pet owner to learn which activities cause pain. Dogs with painful hips have one or more of these symptoms:
Difficulty climbing stairs
Disinterest in walking or playing
Limping on one or both hind legs
Standing with the hind legs positioned closely together
Problems changing positions, especially lying to standing
Morning stiffness that sometimes decreases as the dog moves around
Lifting both hind paws off the ground at once when running (bunny-hopping)
Surgeons get multiple X-ray images of the hip joint, carefully inspecting them for specific radiographic signs of arthritis or dysplasia.
A healthy hip joint has a femoral head (ball at the top of the thigh bone) that's smooth, round, and fits snugly in the acetabulum (socket of the pelvis). An arthritic hip has an irregular-looking femoral head with sharp bone spurs, and the acetabulum becomes misshapen and loses its concave shape.
Surgeons diagnose hip dysplasia when the hip's socket appears shallow, and the femoral head slips out of the socket because of ligamentous laxity (looseness). Many times there is concurrent osteoarthritis.
Dogs undergoing THR have an excellent prognosis and enjoy active lives without restriction. Dogs may put weight on the leg immediately after surgery. While THR is major orthopedic surgery, you may be surprised to see your dog having less pain and moving better than they did before the procedure!
The surgeon prescribes medication to relieve pain and inflammation. Applying a cold pack to the hip area reduces post-op soreness and inflammation.
Activity restrictions include:
Short-duration, slow leash-walks that progress to longer duration over time
Stairs can be navigated under supervision or assisted with a sling or harness
Your pet should avoid these activities for the first 12 weeks:
Off-leash outdoor activity
Roughhousing with people and other pets
Activities or games involving running or jumping
Jumping on/off furniture should be avoided for about 8-weeks
The incision heals in 10-14 days, but bone healing and complete union with implants take three to four months.
While certain and well-described complications exist with every major orthopedic surgical procedure, 95-97% of dogs will have a successful THR recovery. While uncommon, hip replacement complications can be serious and often require re-operation to successfully manage. Most complications occur within the first 30-45 days of surgery. The most common complications include hip luxation, where the ball slips out of the socket, subsidence or sinking of the femoral stem, fractures, cup dislodgements and infections.
ACOSM surgeons use intra-op x-ray during the THR procedure to accurately prepare the bones, improving implant sizing and orientation for the most ideal outcomes.
Recovery from THR should be relatively simple! Your dog’s walking should improve daily. You’ll notice better posture, strength and balance.
Common sense exercise restrictions continue through the first four weeks postop. From weeks 4-12, increasing leash walking activity is encouraged. Dogs are allowed to resume normal activities at approximately 14-16 weeks following surgery.
Do the surgeons at ACOSM understand what I want for my pet?
Yes, we know because we’ve helped thousands of pets and dedicated owners just like you. You’re eager to see the glimmer in your furry best friend’s eyes when they’re able to do simple things again, like walk without bunny-hopping, climbing stairs, and changing from one position to another with ease. You dream of the day when you can take your dog for walks or watch them play, jump and run again! You want your dog to live their best life because when they’re happy, so are you. It’s that simple.
Will my dog be able to enjoy life after hip replacement surgery?
Dogs from five to 170 pounds are eligible for hip replacements, and cats are no exception! We replace the diseased ball and socket with a BioMedtrix hip system. Greater than 95% of dogs receiving THR regain full mobility and should be able to use their durable new hip for the remainder of their lives.
At ACOSM, when you decide to have us do your dog’s THR, we make you and your pet a promise. We’re so confident in our work that we guarantee it – something not offered by any other veterinary surgeon in the nation!
We understand nervousness about leaving pets for surgery and created another solution not offered by any other veterinary practice in Arizona. WatchDog™ technology allows you to virtually stay with your pet using a private online connection to our operating room webcams. Watch your pet’s procedure live and in real-time in our private viewing room or from the comfort of your home or office.
How long will it take my dog to walk or play after THR?
Dogs typically use their operated limb within a day or two of surgery. Six to eight weeks is the average healing time for this procedure. After 3-4 months postop, your dog can enjoy life without restriction.
How difficult is it to care for a dog that had THR?
We’ll care for your dog for one to three days postop, at which time you’ll pick them up and follow ACOSM caregiving guidelines at home, which consists of slow walks using an under-the-belly harness and helping them navigate stairs. Avoid activities such as chasing, jumping, lunging, and running. We’ll let you know when it’s safe for your dog to resume total activity without assistance or restriction.
A "frog leg" ventrodorsal radiograph of a hybrid total hip replacement. A "hybrid" hip combines both uncemented and cemented prosthesis components. In this case, the acetabular cup is a Biomedtrix BFX uncemented cup and will allow for bone ingrowth/ongrowth and a biologic fixation. The femoral component is a Biomedtrix CFX cemented stem with use of a restrictor plug.
Another "frog leg" ventrodorsal radiograph - this time from a cementless total hip replacement. The acetabular cup is a Biomedtrix BFX uncemented cup. The femoral component is a Biomedtrix lateral bolt BFX cementless stem and will result in bone ingrowth/ongrowth and a biologic fixation.
A caudal-cranial projection of the Biomedtrix collared BFX titanium femoral stem. The irregular EBM (electron beam melting) surface of the proximal stem allows for bone ingrowth/ongrowth and biologic fixation.
A caudal-cranial projection of the Biomedtrix cemented CFX femoral stem. The gray appearance of the femoral medullary canal is polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) or bone cement. A restrictor plug placed in the femoral canal acts a barrier to distal cement flow and allows for pressurization of the canal.
A lovely example of a perfectly positioned lateral radiograph and a beautiful uncemented THR. Biomedtrix BFX collared femoral stem orientation is ideal with a desirable anteversion.
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We pride ourselves on doing things differently. We insist on providing premier service to our patients and their caregivers. There's a saying, "Price is what you pay; value is what you get." At ACOSM, delivering on value is our mission.
We're proud of our experience, skill, and outcomes; it puts us in a category of one, which means you'll experience things with us not promised by any other veterinarian in AZ.