Tibial Tuberosity Avulsion Fractures Average Cost

From 431 quotes ranging from $1,800 - 4,000

Average Cost

$2,500

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What are Tibial Tuberosity Avulsion Fractures?

Tibial tuberosity avulsion fracture usually occurs in younger dogs due to the area of the tibia not being fully fused to the rest of the bone. Puppies diagnosed with this type of fracture usually have had some sort of trauma such as falling from a couch or bed and landing with the knee flexed. This can tear the bone fragment from its normal position. If left untreated, a tibial tuberosity avulsion fracture can result in poor function of the knee joint or the entire leg.

Young puppies of any breed can be susceptible to tibial tuberosity avulsion fractures. Small breed dogs, especially toy breeds of any age can also have a tibial tuberosity avulsion fracture occur if they fall or jump off of furniture or steps.

The tibial tuberosity attaches the patella to the tibia with a strong tendon of the quadriceps muscle group. A fracture of the tibial tuberosity can result in an avulsion fracture and pull the quadriceps muscles. An avulsion fracture happens when a bone has been broken and a fragment of the bone is being separated by the pull of an attached muscle or tendon.

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Symptoms of Tibial Tuberosity Avulsion Fractures in Dogs

Dogs, especially puppies, can come up with bumps and bruises from any number of causes. However, if you notice that your puppy or young dog has taken a spill and is not acting like his normal self, call your veterinarian for an assessment. Any of the following symptoms should be taken seriously and your dog should immediately see a veterinarian.

  • Sudden onset of lameness on a hind leg 
  • Refusing to bear weight on a hind leg
  • Pain in the joint or leg on a hind leg
  • Swelling around the front of the knee joint on a hind leg

Causes of Tibial Tuberosity Avulsion Fractures in Dogs

Tibial tuberosity avulsion fractures are caused by some form of trauma. They can be difficult to prevent, however, some preventative measures can be taken such as not allowing puppies or small dogs on furniture unsupervised. 

Be careful not to drop puppies or small breeds of dogs when holding them and never allow them to jump on or off furniture. If you have a lot of steps in your home, pick your puppy up and carry them up or down the stairs.

Diagnosis of Tibial Tuberosity Avulsion Fractures in Dogs

When you take your dog in for an examination by your veterinarian, provide as much information as possible including medical history and if you witnessed falls or stumbles. Your veterinarian will perform a physical exam and an orthopedic evaluation to determine the extent of damage that has been done.

Your veterinarian will palpate the injured leg. The leg will be painful to your dog when it is flexed or extended. Swelling may be present and the patella may be higher than usual since it is no longer attached firmly to the tibia.

X-rays and other imaging scans will give a definitive diagnosis. Both legs will be x-rayed so a comparison can be made and the exact displacement of the bone fragment can be found.

In most instances, the tibial tuberosity avulsion fracture is the only medical problem, therefore, blood work will only be needed in the event of surgery. Any dog undergoing general anesthetic should have blood work completed to ensure that they are healthy enough to undergo surgery.

Treatment of Tibial Tuberosity Avulsion Fractures in Dogs

Generally, for a tibial tuberosity avulsion fracture, surgery is the best treatment. Some veterinarians may opt to rest the leg if the avulsion fraction does not look severe to give the swelling a chance to subside. Casting the leg may also be an option if the displacement is minimal.

Surgery will entail putting the bone back into its correct position to keep the quadriceps muscles from continuing to pull the bone fragment out of place. Your dog will be placed under anesthesia and pins and/or wire will be used to correct the fracture. After the bone has been put back into place x-rays will be taken to ensure that the realignment of the bone is correct.

Recovery of Tibial Tuberosity Avulsion Fractures in Dogs

Post surgery care will be required and some veterinarians will expect your dog to remain at the hospital overnight or for a few days for close monitoring. A padded bandage on the leg will be required to keep the incision site clean. Anti-inflammatory medications and antibiotics may be prescribed as well as pain medications.

During recovery from surgery, swelling or redness need to be watched for and any abnormal drainage from the incision site to ensure that the wound is healing properly. If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian immediately. Stitches or staples will be removed about 10 – 14 days following surgery. Exercise should be kept minimal for about 6 weeks following surgery. Your veterinarian will give you detailed instructions that need to be followed exactly to ensure that your dog fully heals from the tibial tuberosity avulsion fracture and the consequential surgery.

Tibial Tuberosity Avulsion Fractures Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Buddy
Pit bull
6 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

limping and swollen knee area

My 6 month old pit bull suffered a tibia and tibial tuberosity avulsion. Surgery was suggested as treatment from our vet. After surgery my main concern is will he be able to be back to his normal self. With no limp in the leg or disfigurement. Also would he be prone to breaking that area in his leg again in the future because it was broke once already?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
502 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without knowing more about Buddy's injury, I'm not sure whether he will be prone to the injury again, as I'm not sure if it was a traumatic event, or a confromational problem. It would be best for you to ask your veteirnarian what his prognosis might be after the surgery, and if he is prone to having this injury occur again or whether it was a one-time traumatic event. I hope that all goes well with him.

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Anakin
Pomchi
5 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping
Sad

Our 5 month old Pomchi fell off the bed while sleeping and our vet took x-rays and told us he has an avulsion fracture to his tibia and would require surgery. My question is about quality of life after a surgery to repair this. Is he young enough that he will most likely return to full normal use of his leg after time? Or will he suffer from this his whole life? It's not my first dog, but my first toy breed and I know how delicate their bones can be so I'm not sure how it will effect him. He is still young but almost at his full weight (he's 9lbs now) so hopefully this surgery wont cause him lifelong discomfort.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2001 Recommendations
Generally this surgery has a good success rate, the tuberosity is fixated back and there are minimal long term complications; you would need to speak with your Veterinarian about the details but smaller dogs do well due to low weight and stress on the joint. Mild cases may only require medical therapy, but surgery is the treatment of choice. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Harry
French Bulldog
10 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Holding leg up, limping
Holding leg up

Medication Used

none

My puppy French Bulldog has Tibial Crest Avulsion Hint and he’s sometimes limping holding his leg up after 6month after op, no sighs of pain,no swelling, eating and playing well ,full of energy. The Vet said “it’s all fine ,he’s recovering well “ but I’m concerned, it’s very stressful for me. How long does it actually take to heal ???? Will it ge better ever???

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
502 Recommendations
Thank you for your question. I'm not sure if Harry has surgery to repair the avulsion? Without knowing more about his situation, I'm not sure how to advise you on how long it will take to heal or if he will always have a lameness - that would be a great question for your veterinarian, as they have seen him, know what treatments he has had, and will be able to address your concerns and questions.

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Iilly
West Highland White Terrier
3 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

My dog is a 3 year old westie/ schnauzer mix and had fractured her tibia falling off the bed when she was a few months old and had surgury on it. Now she is having issues as of a month ago where she will hold her leg up for about a week then start bearing some weight on it again this is the 2nd time this has happened so I took her to her normal vet who did the surgury yesterday. He couldn't diagnose exactly what the issue was because there is no swelling and she doesn't cry or have issues when he manipulates it other then when she sits she won't extend the leg outward. He also mentioned that when he had went in and took the pins out he accidently left the wire in there. Which you can feel protruding out the front and side of her knee which almost feels like a sharp shard of bone. He believes that it isn't the issue and dogs can go a lifetime without issues and that she is just getting arthritis in her leg. I feel she is so young to have arthritis and hasn't had issues until now. Can that wire just sitting in there be causing pain to her leg or if she tweaks it a certain way be scraping or getting stuck somehow? And also can the wire itself sitting in there cause arthritis to her knee? I'm really confused and worried and want to make the best decision here. They won't cover taking out the wire...I would have to pay that portion again even though it should of been out in the first place and arthritis so young in a healthy dog is worrisome to me. Also is there anything I can give her to help strengthen her joints that would help?!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2001 Recommendations
Any wire left in after the second surgery shouldn’t be directly affecting the joint; it is right that some animals spend their whole life with bones wired together (usually because it would be too troublesome to remove). I do not want to get into whether or not your Veterinarian should remove the wire and whether they should cover the cost or not; if the wire on x-ray is in position, there is no real value to remove it. People freak out when they are told their young dog has arthritis but it is more common than people think; initial management can be tried with supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin and omega 3 fatty acids before trying medical management. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

It was during the 1st initial surgury and when he went in and removed the pins he accidently forgot to remove the wire. She was only a few months old at the time so as she grew up that wire has been in there which was another question.. could it cause more harm now going in and removing it since she has grown into her adult self with that in there possibly? I totally understand accidents happen and I know he is a great vet and I can only imagine the stress and pressure vets are under and also doing surgury on very small animals cannot be an easy job. I just wanted to get a 2nd opinion. He prescribed some anti inflammatorys (rimadyl) which seems to help her feel better some. Im really interested in the supplements you are talking about and was hoping something like that could help or would be well worth trying before going into bigger procddures. Where would I find those supplements at?
Thankyou so much! It's always stressful when it comes to our pets and I feel better getting another opinion.

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Jessie
EnglishStaffrdshire
6 months
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Medication Used

Anti inflammatory

Our 6 month staffy went to the vet to be desexed. After recovering from the operation, she was placed in a run where she sustained a tibial crest injury. This has shown up on the vet's x ray.
She is lame and has pain when the area is examined. The vet recommends a conservative approach as the separation appears small. We are worried about long term complications for our pet if it is not fixed properly, and would like surgery to be performed to correct the injury if this is determined necessary. We are very upset that this has happened while going for a routine surgery such as spaying as it has caused our little dog unnecessary pain and complications. Any advice please?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2001 Recommendations
We prefer not to perform surgery if conservative treatment will be just as effective; with injuries like this, rest and support is usually just as effective as you are also not introducing any foreign objects for internal fixation. I would highly recommend following your Veterinarian’s advice, if you have doubt you may ask another Veterinarian in your area for their opinion. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Duke
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

Medication Used

Vetprofen

Hello, I'm an RVT and I have a three legged dog that has a tibial tuberosity avulsion. The proximal head of the tuberosity is still attached, it's the distal end that has fractured off. Because of him being a rear leg amputation already we are opting to rest him, give NSAIDS and see how he does. What would happen if it completely avulsed? Being a three legged dog, would surgery be safe for him? Thanks!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2001 Recommendations

I understand the approach of medical therapy, but given that the remaining limb has to act for two limbs it may be that surgical correction is the best course of action long term. Obviously either with NSAID or with surgery, strict cage rest will be important so that the pressure is reduced from the tuberosity. Depending on the severity, surgery may still be the best way to go. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Lucy
Lab mix
4 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Sad. limping

Medication Used

Anti-Inflammatory

Hi. Our four month old lab mix suffered an avulsion fracture of her right hind tibia with moderate displacement. Our vet who will perform the surgery will place two pins and a wire to anchor the bone back into position. He says these will be permanent fixtures. Given her age and location of the fixation, shouldn't the wire and pins be removed eventually so that she can grow appropriately? We have concerns for the hardware to migrate over time and create further issues.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2001 Recommendations

It is normal in dogs Lucy’s age that the fixation ‘hardware’ will remain in place and not removed. The chance of migration is very minimal and not to be of any concern. There are different methods of fixation, but I would agree with your Veterinarian to leave the pins in place. Whilst migration of pins may occur; angular limb deformities and breakage of the wire (during healing) is more of a concern. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Josie
Collie mix
11 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Sad
Tired and unable to walk on leg

Will a
Supralenoid testrosity fracture heal without surgery in an eleven year old dog

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2001 Recommendations

The supraglenoid tuberosity is located on the scapula (shoulder blade) and not the tibia (the page subject); just to clarify for other people reading this page. The problem with the supraglenoid tuberosity is that it is the origin for the biceps brachii muscle which causes the fracture to be displaced making it impossible to heal without surgical correction regardless of age; it is normally pulled by the muscle slightly out of position. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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