Romeo an adorable 14 year old miniature poodle jumped off his sofa at home, cried out and kept his left hind leg in the air. He refused to walk on the leg but appeared fine otherwise. The owners brought him to Animal 911. He had a hip luxation or dislocation. His left hip had been pushed out of the socket (see x-rays images below).
His regular vet wanted to do an excision arthroplasty which means to surgically remove the head of the femur, so that there would no longer be any pain due to the head of the femur rubbing against the pelvis. This a good solution for a dog with hip dysplasia or severe arthritis when you do not want to preserve the unhealthy hip joint, as every movement causes pain. However it is not a good treatment option for a 14 year old dog with good hips and no arthritis. Thus we chose to return the head of the femur to its normal position as this would be the least painful and give the dog the best quality of life afterwards.
Dr. Wybranowski (Dr.W.), our orthopedic surgeon, repositioned the leg under anesthesia but unfortunately the hip was unstable and re-luxated by the next day. To prevent recurrence a surgical repositioning of the hip was performed together with a permanent attaching mechanism that prevented the hip from luxating.
The surgery consisted of drilling a hole down the shaft of the femoral head and into the pelvis. Through this hole an artificial nylon ligament with a toggle was inserted and once within the pelvis the toggle was made to change position so that now it prevented the ligament from coming out. The ends of the artificial ligament were passed through another tunnel in the femur and the ends were attached to each other. This prevented the head of the femur from dislodging from the hip and the dog could go home the next day. Two weeks later when he came for stitch removal he was already starting to walk on all four legs! (See the x-ray images below)
It has been one year and Romeo is doing very well and is not having any problems with his hip. This new technique offers a novel solution for cats and dogs with hip luxation; we have performed several of them already with similar outcomes.
X-Ray of Romeo with a left luxated hip. As you can see on the image the right hip is perfect while the left hip is out of its socket.
This is an X-Ray image of Romeo after the orthopedic surgery was performed by Dr. Wybranowski. As you can see the left hip is back into its socket and there are two metal clips that hold the ligament preventing the leg from dislocating again.
This is Romeo and his operated left leg at 14 days after surgery. Now that Romeo is starting to walk on all four legs again, both he and his owners are very happy.
By Dr. Wybranowski