Orthopedic surgery is the branch of surgery concerned with conditions involving the musculoskeletal system (muscles and bones).
Here at Encina Veterinary Hospital in Walnut Creek, we are fortunate to have board certified surgeon Dr. Carl Koehler as our orthopedic surgeon. Utilizing our CT scanner, digital x-ray machine or a Hip Penn test performed by our Dr. Blythe Jurewicz, we are able to diagnose your pets’ orthopedic needs.
Some common diagnoses that need orthopedic treatment are ….
* Hip and elbow dysplasia
* Knee and hip replacement
* Torn or ripped ligaments
* Bone cysts
* Limb deformities
Once your pet has a diagnosis, we discuss surgical and non surgical treatment options with you. Our goal is to provide the best possible treatment plan suited for you and your pet.
Should you decide surgery is best for your pet, here are some orthopedic procedures Dr. Carl Koehler performs:
* TPLO (tibial plateau leveling osteotomy) (this is considered to be the gold standard in knee surgery for large/medium sized dogs)
* Stifle suture imbrocation (used on smaller dogs needing knee surgery)
* Extra-capsular technique (used to repair the CCL [crainial cruciate ligament])
* TTT – tibial tuberosity transposition (used to repair the CCL [crainial cruciate ligament])
* TPO (triple pelvic osteotomy) (for hip dysplasia)
* FHO (femoral head ostectomy) (used to alleviate pain in dogs with hip dysplasia)
* Hemipelvectomy (full or partial removal of pelvis, usually due to cancer)
* Amputation of the limbs
* Fracture repairs
* Arthroscopy (joint repair)
* Arthrodesis (relieving joint pain)
* Angular limb deformity correction
* Pubic symphysis diastasis (loose pelvis bones, typically due to pregnancy)
Because these procedures are quite invasive, your pets’ pain management protocol will be customized to his or her specific needs depended on history, healthy and surgical procedure. As always, we work with you to decide the best possible care for your pet.
Here are some ways we manage your pets’ pain after surgery:
Wound Soaker Catheter: This is a catheter that is placed at the site of surgery and releases lidocaine to your pet around the clock to minimize their pain. This is primarily used in amputations.
Epidurals: A catheter is placed in the spine region that releases pain and anesthetic medication to block the transmission of signals through nerves in or near the spinal cord.
Nerve Blocks: An injection is administered to block the nerves from accessing the point of pain; it numbs the nerves and does not let the pain receptors communicate pain to the brain.
Inject-able and Oral Analgesics: Injections and oral medications are used to treat pain while in the hospital, and also once the pet goes home; sometimes a combination of the two are used to ensure your pet is comfortable.
Constant Intravenous Infusions: Your pet may receive constant pain medications through his or her indwelling intravenous catheter; this ensures they have a constant stream of pain medication in their blood stream to keep them comfortable.
After surgery is performed, your pet will stay here at our hospital overnight where trained technicians will monitor and administer pain medication, care and support around the clock. We encourage all pet owners to come visit their pet during this time.