Orthopaedic surgery is the surgical correction of any form of bone defect. Most orthopaedic surgery involves some soft tissue surgery as well because most bones are covered by degrees of soft tissue such as muscles, tendons, skin or ligaments.
Most orthopaedic surgery is either the repair of a fracture, usually associated with a traumatic incident or the surgical correction of a joint problem such as a luxating patella or ruptured cruciate ligament.
Generally, after orthopaedic surgery, pets can go home once they are up, walking and their pain is under control. If the surgeon has any concerns about the recovery of your pet they will opt for further hospitalisation overnight to monitor them closely.
It is important to follow the discharge instructions given. Most pets need to be kept restricted for a period of time, generally up to 6 weeks depending on what surgery they have undergone. It is important to monitor the wound & contact your Personal Care Nurse if you are at all worried. All medication (including pain relief) must be given to the end of its course & all recommended post-surgical checks must be followed. If your pet has a bandage, follow up checks will be required & the bandage may need to be replaced on a regular basis.
Post-operative x-rays generally will be required 6-8 weeks after the surgery to check on the progress of the bone healing. It must be remembered that bone healing is a natural process and as such, there is normal variation in the speed of healing between animals. If you have any concerns don’t hesitate to contact your Personal Care Nurse.
At Amity, we are lucky to have Dr Clare Catchpole BVSc Cert SAS MRCVS operating. She grew up in Tauranga, New Zealand, and graduated from Massey University in 1999. After working a ski season in California and travelling for a period of time, she moved to the UK and worked in mixed general practice in Devon and Cornwall. Clare developed a keen interest in small animal surgery and gained her RCVS Cert SAS in 2009. She has been working as part of the Rata Vets Surgical team and been performing orthopaedic surgery for more than 10 years. In her spare time, Clare enjoys walking her dogs, travelling and making pets out of her husband’s many dairy cows.