What is Greater Trochanter Translocation?

The top of your dog’s femur has a bony prominence that fits into the hip joint. Muscles, tendons and ligaments from the buttock area attach to this boy prominence. The correct orientation of the greater trochanter is necessary for correct, pain-free movement of the hip and attached muscles. When dislocations or partial dislocations of the hip occur, either due to congenital problems with alignment or confirmation or due to trauma in the femur, surgery to correct the angle of the femur and allow the femur head to rest into the hip socket can be carried out. Translocation of the greater trochanter is one of the surgical procedures that can be performed in your dog to realign the femur and ensure the greater trochanter is properly positioned in the acetabulum of the hip joint. Translocation is performed by manipulating or reducing the bone or muscles surgically to reestablish the correct angle and then ensuring it is affixed in the correct position. This surgical procedure is performed by an orthopedic veterinary surgeon under general anaesthetic.

Book First Walk Free!

Greater Trochanter Translocation Procedure in Dogs

Prior to the translocation of the greater trochanter procedure, radiographs will be taken to ensure your veterinarian has an understanding of structural issues and to prepare a surgical plan. Blood work will be conducted to ensure your dog is healthy prior to the procedure, which will minimize complications associated with anesthesia and surgery. Prior to surgery, your dog should be fasted for 12 hours. At the veterinary hospital, on the day of surgery, your dog will be sedated and administered intravenous anesthetic to put him into a deep sleep prior to intubation with a breathing tube and the administration of general anesthesia by gas. The area over your dog's thigh and hip where incision(s) will be made to access the greater trochanter of the femur will be shaved and cleaned antiseptically prior to the surgical procedure. An incision will be made to expose the greater trochanter of the femur. Muscles and tendons will need to be moved to access the bony prominence of the greater trochanter. A section of the greater trochanter will be removed with bone cutting surgical instruments to allow it to rest correctly in the hip socket. Muscles and tendons will be manipulated as required to hold the greater trochanter in place. Pins and wires are used to ensure the femur is attached at the correct angle in the socket. Once repairs have been affected, incisions are closed and your dog is put into surgical and anesthesia recovery. A cast may or may not be required, depending on the surgical attachment used to hold the bone in place. Sometimes an Ehmer sling will be used for a few days post surgery.

Efficacy of Greater Trochanter Translocation in Dogs

The effectiveness of translocation of the greater trochanter is usually good for resolving hip displacement. However, if degenerative conditions are the cause, or if severe trauma has occurred, damaging cartilage in the hip joint, issues may persist with hip alignment. While most procedures have successful outcomes, complete soundness and correction of gait may not be achieved. 

Greater Trochanter Translocation Recovery in Dogs

Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories will be prescribed post-surgery, and should be administered as directed by your veterinarian. Antibiotics may also be prescribed in some cases. Bandaging will be placed over the incision and instructions provided on changing bandaging. You will need to monitor the incision for signs of rupture or infection and get veterinary attention immediately if either of these occur. An e-collar may be required to prevent your dog from interfering with the incision site. An Ehmer sling will be used for a few weeks post-surgery to reduce strain on the hind leg. Exercise should be restricted for a few months, your dog should be kept inside, and be allowed outside only on a leash only. It is important to establish good traction for your dog in your house with the use of rugs mats and carpets, so that they do not slip or fall. Ensure your dog does not have access to stairs or jump on furniture for several weeks post-surgery. Your veterinarian will perform radiographs several weeks after surgery to evaluate healing and success of surgery. Your dog should be mostly recovered in three to four months.

Cost of Greater Trochanter Translocation in Dogs

The cost of greater trochanter translocation in your dog including consultation, radiographs, pre-surgery tests, anesthetic, procedure, hospitalization and post-surgery care and medication can range from $1,000 to $4,000 or more. Cost varies depending on your location, expertise of an orthopedic veterinary surgeon, and intervention and reconstruction required to conduct this procedure in your dog.

Dog Greater Trochanter Translocation Considerations

The procedure is considered invasive, requiring substantial recovery time, and complications such as failure to establish joint connection, as well as infection can occur. Limiting your dog's activity after surgery will increase the chances that healing establishes and luxations are resolved. Complications from anesthetic, hemorrhaging, or infection are present, as with all surgical procedures, and antiseptic procedures and an experienced veterinary orthopedic surgeon and anesthesiologist help mitigate these concerns.

Greater Trochanter Translocation Prevention in Dogs

Dogs with congenital confirmation issues resulting in hip displacement should be removed from breeding programs. Reducing the likelihood your dog is subject to injury resulting in fractures or dislocations requiring surgical correction can be achieved by restricting outdoor activity that could result in accidents and falls, and by keeping your dog on leash when outside and ensuring your dog has good footing and traction indoors. If fracture, osteoarthritis, or hip dislocation occurs, obtaining expert veterinary care to correct it initially may result in better outcomes.