Hip Dislocation

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What is a Hip Dislocation?

A hip dislocation occurs when the hip slips out of the acetabulum (hip socket). This is most common after a sudden, severe trauma, such as a car accident, but it can also occur after less severe trauma where the hip joint is abnormal, such as hip dysplasia.

How are they diagnosed?

Hip dislocation can be suspected on palpation when there is significant pain when attempting to manipulate the animal's hip joint by extending and flexing the upper hind leg. In most hip dislocations, the top of the greater trochanter of the femur sits above a line drawn between the top of the ilium and the ischium.

Taking an x-ray of the dog on its side is usually the quickest way to provide conclusive evidence. The x-ray can be done while your dog is awake by gently laying it on its side, and anaesthetising the dog is usually unnecessary to avoid adding costs that could otherwise be spent on treatment.

Arthrex fibre wire prior to being pulled through pre-drilled hole in the femoral head and neck
Treatment options

Manual hip replacement under general anaesthesia is the quickest and cheapest option; however, in most cases, the hip will re-dislocate in the hours and days following surgery.

Surgically removing the Femoral Head and Neck (FHNE) to stop bone and bone contact between pelvis and femur works well for many cats and dogs but is essentially a salvage procedure as a last resort due to cost.

Surgically replacing the hip and holding it in place with a toggle pin through the pelvic acetabulum and using Arthrex fibre wire through the femoral head and neck allows for a return to normal or near-normal function in as little as six weeks.

Cost

Surgery

At Melbourne Pet Surgery, Femoral Head and Neck (FHNE) removal costs between $1,400 and $1,700.

Hip dislocation repair with a toggle pin and Arthrex fibre wire costs $2,500 to $3,500, which is roughly one-third of the cost of the same procedure at a referral centre.

Aftercare

Recovery and aftercare

The post-surgery care is simple and consists of cage rest with on-lead toilet walks for four weeks to allow structures such as joint capsules and muscles to heal. Between four and six to eight weeks, take increasingly longer walks several times per day to enable muscle strength to return and full return of hip mobility before going off lead as soon as 6-8 weeks post-surgery.

Dr. Scot Plummer

Meet Dr. Scot Plummer

BVSC(HONS)

Dr Plummer has always had a deep love for animals and graduated from the University of Queensland with Honours. in his Bachelor of Veterinary Science. After the success of his Brisbane clinic, Dr Plummer has launched Melbourne Pet Surgery with the goal of lowering the cost of high-quality pet care for all Melburnians.

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