When Does a Pet Require Orthopedic Surgery?

Orthopedic issues do not only affect humans. Our pets are equally as prone to musculoskeletal problems, especially if they are physically active. Orthopedic conditions affect your pet’s bones, joints, and muscles. They can occur due to a mishap, injury, or a hereditary predisposition to the disease. While medication can be utilized to treat many orthopedic conditions, there are occasions when surgical treatment is the only choice for your pet’s pain and discomfort.

When should you consider having your pet undergo orthopedic surgery? Your veterinarian is your best pick for diagnosis and treatment since they will identify when non-surgical options have been exhausted and when it is time to think about the orthopedic surgical procedure.

Orthopedic Problems in Pets That Require Surgery

One of the most typical treatments conducted by veterinarians is orthopedic surgery on pets like dogs and cats. Orthopedic surgery addresses health problems of the joints, such as hip dysplasia, and fixes damage to the body, including torn ligaments. 

Like many other pet owners, you may not know if your pet needs orthopedic surgery. The vets in Waxhaw, NC can provide all the information you need to understand this treatment area. Only they can establish if operating on your pet is the most effective choice.

Hip Dysplasia

This genetic condition affects your pet’s hips and is most common in large-breed dogs. Treatment includes typically taking anti-inflammatory meds daily, but titanium replacements might be needed if your pet develops arthritis in the joint. Surgical hip replacement is an expensive and complicated procedure, but it can improve your pet’s lifestyle. Symptoms of hip dysplasia in your pet:

  • Jumping, running, or climbing staircases is difficult
  • A swaying walk
  • The space between your pet’s legs may appear wider than usual
  • Your pet’s legs may look shorter than the others
  • Reduced mobility and range of movement
  • Lameness in the tail

If anti-inflammatory medicines and other therapies no longer provide comfort, your pet may be referred for orthopedic surgery to replace the joint.

Patellar Luxation

Another term for the patella is the knee cap. When a pet’s patella isn’t working correctly, it can dislodge from its normal holding groove. This is usually because the groove is too shallow. The following are symptoms of a dislocated knee joint in your pet:

  • Evident pain
  • At the knee, licking or biting
  • Limping
  • Unwillingness to walk
  • Unable to bear weight on the leg

If you want to keep your cat or dog in tip-top shape and prevent potential health issues, such as bone injuries, a cat wellness plan in Waxhaw could be a viable solution.

Cruciate Ligament Tears

Tears in the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, are common injuries affecting the knee’s stability. An ACL injury can not be cured by resting the knee or taking medication. Surgical treatment is required to repair a ruptured cruciate tendon in animals, just as in humans, to prevent the growth of severe and unbearable joint inflammation. Various methods exist for cruciate ligament surgery; your veterinary orthopedic surgeon can recommend the one that has the best possibility of success with your pet.


Injuries and abnormalities of the bone and joint system are often treated with orthopedic surgery, which aims to alleviate discomfort and address its source. Usually, pet owners don’t need to fret about any more damage after the procedure. Orthopedic surgery can prevent further injury and deterioration, even in extreme cases. At the same time, it also helps in the recovery of mobility and function, allowing your beloved pet to resume normal activities.


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