Orthopedic Surgery in Dogs

Orthopedic Surgery in Dogs - Conditions Treated, Procedure, Efficacy, Recovery, Cost, Considerations, Prevention
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What is Orthopedic Surgery?

Orthopedic surgery is a broad term for surgical repair of the bone or joint. A canine that has broken or fractured a bone due to trauma, or one that is suffering from a congenital condition that affects the joint, may require orthopedic surgery. In order to make surgical corrections to the bone, the dog will be referred to a veterinary specialist with training and the appropriate tools. Orthopedic Surgery is the most effective procedure for correcting an affected bone or joint and returning the patient to a normal state of health. Orthopedic surgery requires a great deal of recovery and rehabilitation time, plus the cost of surgery itself can be high.

Orthopedic Surgery Procedure in Dogs

Orthopedic surgery, in general, uses surgical procedures that will bring the canine limb back to a normal or near normal state. The orthopedic veterinary surgeon may require the use of bone plates, pins or screws, nylon, casts or an artificial joint to achieve such a goal in orthopedic surgery. A dog that is scheduled to undergo orthopedic surgery will require heavy sedation and supplementary oxygen, as the procedure may take several hours for completion. With that being said, it is crucial for pre-surgical blood work and an overall analysis of the canine to take place. Dogs in a good quality of health are perfect candidates for an surgical orthopedic procedure. Orthopedic surgery includes a number of bone and joint correction surgery types, such as: 

  • Cruciate ligament repair¬†
  • Arthroscopic joint surgery
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia repair
  • Ligament and tendon reconstruction
  • Limb deformity correction¬†
  • Minimally-invasive fracture surgery
  • Total elbow replacement
  • Total hip replacement
  • Total knee replacement

Efficacy of Orthopedic Surgery in Dogs

Orthopedic surgery is the most effective form of surgery to correct a canine with a bone injury or joint condition. Completed by an experienced veterinary orthopedic surgeon, a canine’s limb or joint will return to a near normal state. 

Orthopedic Surgery Recovery in Dogs

Orthopedic surgery requires a lengthy recovery and rehabilitation period following surgery. A dog that has undergone orthopedic surgery will require at least two weeks of exercise restrictions. The canine will not be allowed to walk around or engage in any other types of physical activity, which requires constant monitoring from the pet owner. After the initial two weeks, activity limitation will continue for four months after that and physical therapy may be recommended for the canine.  

Cost of Orthopedic Surgery in Dogs

Orthopedic surgery in dogs is costly and can cost pet owners from $100 to $3,000 to have performed. The total cost depends on the type of procedure your veterinarian is performing and the specific condition your dog is suffering from. For an accurate estimate of how much orthopedic surgery will cost for a specific condition, consult the veterinarian. 

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Dog Orthopedic Surgery Considerations

Orthopedic surgery can be pricey and requires several months of recovery time for the canine. If a pet owner is not financially or practically prepared for the time it takes for the canine to recover, these may be issues a pet owner may need to consider. 

Orthopedic Surgery Prevention in Dogs

Preventing the need for orthopedic surgery can be challenging for pet owners, as many causes for bone surgery are related to unexpected injury or hereditary joint conditions. To prevent possible fracture or bone breaks, it is important to practice basic canine safety precautions such as providing a fenced-in yard and using a leash outside the home. Hereditary or congenital causes for a dog to need orthopedic surgery can only be prevented through halting all reproductive practices of canines known to have the condition(s). For canines that are diagnosed with hereditary joint complications, such as hip or elbow dysplasia, orthopedic surgery is the most effective form of treatment for that dog. 

Orthopedic Surgery Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals






9 Years


0 found this helpful


0 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
Back Left Leg
I have a 91/2 year old rescue mutt, (bischon and pug they say). He hurt his leg and after many doctor visits, xrays, it has been determined he has a ruptured knee/ACL. My doctor wants to do the TPLO, but others are suggesting a fiber surgery to replace the tendons (?) is suffecient for a dog under 30 lbs. Conflicting advise- but I also can not afford the TPLO which starts around $4500. The other is $1600. Jack still gets around, just doesn't put much weight on his hind leg and I give him Rx-metacam O-sus 1.5 Mg/ml 32 M every other day. Does the lower surgery sound ok to do?

Aug. 19, 2018

0 Recommendations

The choice of surgical technique is down to your Veterinarian, their determination of the best procedure and their own surgical skill; you should discuss any concerns with your Veterinarian as well will be able to discuss this in more detail. The article below goes over some factors involved when choosing a surgical technique. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM http://veterinarycalendar.dvm360.com/choosing-cruciate-rupture-repair-methods-proceedings

Aug. 20, 2018

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7 Years


10 found this helpful


10 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
Kneecap Slips
Our Vet says our Pom has Kneecap Dislocation. What surgery is needed and what will it cost? Where can we get the surgery done? Morehead City, NC. Cote's kneecap will not stay in place and she will not put weight on leg.

Aug. 17, 2018

10 Recommendations

If the patellar is luxating and is this severe, it would require surgical correction; as for the type and approach of surgery it would depend on what the specific issue is and the best course of action the Surgeon decides as there are a few different surgeries which may be done depending on various factors. Price would vary depending on the type of surgery and your Veterinarian, the nearest Specialist I can find is around Wilmington, NC (second link) but some local Veterinarians may do the surgery. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.acvs.org/small-animal/patellar-luxations www.ccvss.org/services

Aug. 17, 2018

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