We perform a wide assortment of routine (spays/neuters) and advanced (orthopedic and soft tissue) procedures. A description of some of these procedures is provided below. In addition, the price for many of the procedures we perform are provided below.
The TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) surgery has become one of the most common orthopedic surgeries performed on dogs who have torn their cranial cruciate ligament (a.k.a. ACL).
The philosophy behind the TPLO surgery is to completely change the dynamics of the dog’s knee so that the torn ligament becomes irrelevant to the stability of the knee itself. Let’s quickly review the basics. When your dog stands, if you look from the side, you can see that your dog’s knee is bent, at a slight degree of flexion. Because of this bending, the ACL inside the knee joint is always load-bearing, meaning it always has tension on it. Therefore, this constant tension on the dog’s ACL makes this ligament the most susceptible to injury. In fact, injury to this ligament is hands-down the most common orthopedic injury in dogs.
When a dog tears its ACL, every time the dog goes to stand or put weight on the leg, the femur slides/rubs on the back of the tibia. This rubbing causes pain and inflammation, which is very uncomfortable. This is why most dogs with a torn ACL will not even put any weight on the leg, or if they do, they will just toe touch the paw to the ground.
The true beauty of the surgery is that it completely alters the dynamics of the knee. Once the bone is cut and rotated, the tibial plateau, where the femur and the tibia communicate, no longer can slide backwards. The knee is immediately stabilized. By doing so, this eliminates the need for the ACL ligament entirely and returns stability to the joint immediately. Once the knee is stabilized, the dogs will use their injured limb again.
The lateral suture repair method has been around in veterinary medicine since the 1960’s. The procedure is much less invasive than other methods such as TPLO. It historically involved placing a strong piece of nylon suture across the knee joint in a location similar to the torn ligament. This suture would stabilize the knee for about 12 weeks while your pet “heals” the knee with fibrous or scar tissue around it. The scar tissue acts like a permanent knee brace. Because of the way the suture is placed around the knee, it can inhibit normal range of motion of the knee, and can result in the onset of serious osteoarthritis in the knee, as well as chronic damage to the joint surface and cartilage. This suture will eventually break, and in some instances can break too soon before this scar tissue develops or get infected. Often this suture breaks too soon and your pet may not get any of the benefits of the procedure. These complications rarely occur in smaller patients, but commonly occur in larger patients. Therefore, patients that do the best with this procedure are smaller dogs. In fact, the lateral suture technique is my treatment of choice for dogs under 50 pounds, and has a high success rate for these smaller patients. Newer alterations of this technique are now available. This involves using bone screws and a newer, stronger suture material. These alterations minimize the negative effects on range of motion described above, as well as the risk of the suture breaking down prematurely. In fact, I have now used this technique with remarkable success in some larger dogs as well. I would not recommend a standard lateral suture for a larger dog (over 50 pounds). But the OrthoZip is definitely a viable option for larger dogs for owners who need a less expensive option than the TPLO.
Fractures commonly occur on the limbs, pelvis, or jaw. We are able to fix fractures with bone plates, pins and wire, or external skeletal fixation. The choice of which method to use is based on the patients age and the location and type of fracture.