It is important to understand that when a dog presents with a dog with hip laxity (hip dysplasia) with or without secondary
degenerative changes, that there is not one single way to manage every patient. Initially, one must decide if a particular
patient is better suited for medical or surgical options. Medical management is identical to management of any other joint
OA. If it is determined that surgery is a potential option, then many other factors about the case must be included in the
decision of which surgical procedure is best for that particular animal. The goal of this lecture is to give you guidelines
which will help you determine which surgical procedure may best suit a given dog in your practice. For ease of description
and clarity, I will divide the discussion into immature and mature patients, with subdivisions depending on the degree of
secondary degenerative joint disease. It must be stressed that concurrent orthopedic or neurologic disorders usually will
preclude them from any of these procedures. Once those concurrent problems have been addressed, then possibly the dog may
be considered for further coxofemoral joint surgery.
Dogs presented to your practice with pain and dysfunction caused by hip laxity can initially be divided into two groups: those
which radiographically have degenerative joint disease(DJD)/Osteoarthritis(OA) present and those who don't. This differentiation
is important as most surgeons feel that the presence of DJD/OA severely diminishes the positive long term effects of the pelvic
or femoral osteotomy procedures.
Dogs without secondary DJD/OA:
In this group of animals, the possible surgical procedures include a pelvic osteotomy (most common is the triple pelvic osteotomy),
the intertrochanteric osteotomy, femoral head and neck excision (FHO), and for the temporary relief of pain, the pectineus
Dogs with secondary DJD/OA:
In this group of animals, the possible surgical procedures include the FHO, and the pectineus transection for the relief of
pain. Another approach is to manage these dogs with medical management until they are skeletally mature (10-12 months) and
perform a total hip replacement.
This group of animals usually already has DJD/OA, and thus the potential use of the pelvic or femoral osteotomies is limited.
However, there is the occasional 1 to 1.5 yr old dog that will fit the criterium for one of these procedures. In this group,
the most common procedures recommended are the total hip replacement, and the FHO.
The procedures in which osteotomies of the pelvis are performed are designed to improve the congruity of the coxofemoral joint.
The most common of these procedures is the triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO) and more recently the juvenile pubic symphysiodesis
(JPS). As previously stated, the TPO is best suited for treating the young, growing dog with clinical and radiographic signs
of hip dysplasia and no radiographic evidence of DJD/OA. Thus candidates are usually under 10 months of age, medium to large
size dogs with coxofemoral joint laxity. Once a patient has been identified as a potential candidate, surgery should be done
as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration of the hip and appearance of radiographic evidence of DJD. Whether staged
unilateral procedures (2 to 4 weeks apart) or bilateral procedures should be done is currently an area of debate with some
surgeons on each side of the issue. The goal of these procedures is to improve clinical function (reduce pain, and stabilize
the joint) and to slow the progression of DJD over the life of the patient.
Although published data is limited on the results of this procedure, that data is available is very positive with improvements
in subjective and objective measurements of gait function. Also there is some evidence that there is a slowing of progression
of DJD in dogs which have had the procedure. However, more data needs to be collected prior to the wholesale use or recommendation
of any of these procedures.