Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury, Fractures, Hip Dysplasia, Patellar Luxation

IMG_6256Bay Area Veterinary Surgery offers a wide variety of advanced surgical procedures to manage various orthopedic conditions in canine and feline patients. Orthopedic procedures are designed to treat problems with structures of the muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments and joints that will lead to improved function, reduced long-term arthritis and less patient discomfort.

Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury

One of the most common causes of lameness in the back leg of a dog is disruption of the cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL). This structure is similar to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of a human and is an important stabilizer of the knee joint when an animal is standing and walking. With loss of the ligament the knee becomes unstable, leading to patient discomfort, arthritis and potential injury to an additional knee structure called a meniscus.

Surgical procedures to manage loss of the CrCL are designed to improve stability to the knee joint with the intent of reducing patient discomfort, improving use of the limb, and reducing arthritis progression. Numerous procedures have been developed and should be considered for each patient on a case-by-case basis. Bay Area Veterinary Surgery offers surgical procedures such as the Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO), Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA), Tightrope extra-capsular procedure, as well as others.


IMG_2306When bones break, the pieces of the bone move out of position making muscles ineffective and preventing normal movement. The broken bone also causes patient discomfort. Not all fractures require surgery, but the goals of managing a broken bone are to re-align the bone pieces as close as possible to normal (“set the bone”) and then to stabilize the bone in this position.

Stabilization methods can include non-surgical methods, such as casts and splints. These methods often are not as successful in maintaining the position of the bones while they heal and require very careful monitoring and replacement, as necessary. Internal methods of stabilization “splint” directly around the bone and provide a stronger means of holding bone position.

Treatment of fractures should be decided on a case-by-case basis, after careful patient evaluation, taking into consideration what will be the most effective means of returning your pet to a happy, healthy lifestyle. Surgical procedures available for fracture management include: external skeletal fixators (ESF), internal plate and screw fixation, pins, wires and interlocking nails.

Many fractures in small animals are the result of blunt force trauma (hit by car) and in addition to the broken bone there can be injury to the heart, lungs, abdominal organs and soft tissues.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a complex disorder with a broad range of presentations, from a patient who has difficulty walking at a very young age, to a patient who may only show problems when it is very old and suffering from the resulting arthritis. Diagnosing hip dysplasia can be difficult, and a variety of physical exam and imaging (radiographic/x-ray) techniques may be necessary to confirm a diagnosis before treatments are considered. Depending on the severity and onset of problems, a variety of medical and surgical options can be applied. BAVS offers surgical options such as Juvenile Pubic Symphsiodesis (JPS), Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO), Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO) and Total Hip Replacement (THR) as appropriate for each individual case.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation is a condition where a patient’s kneecap slips out of a normal position and creates problems. Patients with patellar luxation suffer a loss of muscle strength, discomfort and ultimately can form arthritis in the knee joint. Patellar luxation is one of the least completely understood and more complex orthopedic disorders that is managed in companion animals. There are multiple predisposing factors that have to be assessed and addressed for each patient. Ultimately, surgery is aimed at restoring the normal anatomic position of the kneecap and then stabilizing the kneecap in that position. Surgical procedures can include, but are not limited to: trochleoplasties, tibial tuberosity transpositions, imbrications and desmotomies. Advanced procedures such as distal femoral osteotomies can also be employed as necessary.