Surgical conditions of the hip are common. Early intervention, along with good management can make the life of your patients healthier and less painful. Being sure you have the best technique to approach and operate in the coxofemoral joint is integral to good practice.

Find out out top 3 hip surgery tips below:-

Tip 1: Anatomy Matters

In addition to the bony anatomy it is also important to consider the vascular, muscular and soft tissue anatomy when assessing femoral head fractures.

The weight-bearing part of the acetabulum is the dorsal aspect of the lunate surface, to match this, the main weight bearing aspect of the femoral head is the dorsal part of the head. Thus the loss of a non articular area of the femoral head can be tolerated to a degree. However it should be remembered that any damage to articular cartilage will set in motion a process of inflammation leading ultimately to DJD.

Tip 2: Femoral Physeal Fractures

These fractures can be difficult to identify radiographically as the joint capsule is usually intact and the fracture may be minimally displaced. The dog is generally non-weight bearing lame and has pain and crepitus in the hip. Frog leg, extended hip and lateral views may be required to identify the problem.

If detected early, the physis is usually not severely damaged and can be reduced before being appropriately stabilised. Fixation of physeal fractures should ideally be performed with smooth pins that allow continued physeal growth. This will give the best chance for good long-term function.

Tip 3: Reminder for Clients

Hip dysplasia is an inherited abnormality causing the hips of affected dogs to develop abnormally. The round head of the femur (thigh bone) does not fit properly with the cup in the pelvis. In severe cases the joint is completely dislocated. Some dogs become lame by 8 months, but most develop early arthritis and hip pain from 2 – 8 years of age. Once arthritis has developed there is no cure although the pain can be managed in many dogs.

For more great tips and to put your hip skills into practice check out our  Hips in Practice Workshop – February 20th – 21st, 2015

Spend two full days with specialists and explore the multiple ways you can build your skills and your patients quality of life.

This workshop is designed for veterinarians who want to offer a comprehensive health care program for the lifespan of the animals they care for. Surgical conditions of the hip are important and most are manageable in general practice.

(Payment plans available on request)


Our recommended tools of choice are are the IMEX ESF Equipment, for more information visit their website

What are some of your hip surgery tips? Let us know in the comments below.