The Best for Your Pet

Veterinary Orthopedics

Learn more about the pet orthopedics we offer below.

Orthopedic Services

Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injuries

Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Injury is the most common cause of rear limb lameness in dogs. It is similar to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears associated with humans. CCL injuries can result in stifle (knee) instability and may require surgical stabilization for your pet to return to a normal pain-free activity level.

There are several veterinary procedures that can help stabilize CCL deficient stifles in dogs. Depending on your pet’s needs, the right form of treatment can vary, so there is no definitive solution. The surgeons at VVS will factor in characteristics such as age, breed, weight, concurrent medical conditions, activity level, lifestyle, and anatomic variations of your pet’s knee in order to prescribe a surgical and rehabilitative protocol suited for your pet to achieve the best possible outcome. The Surgeons at VVS have performed thousands of cruciate ligament stabilization procedures and have a high level of experience and confidence in the various techniques, including Tibial Plateau leveling Osteotomy (TPLO); Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA); extracapsular stabilization; and the tight rope procedure.

Post-Operative Recovery and Prognosis
Dogs generally return to a normal functioning condition within 12 weeks following the surgical repair. We will continuously monitor your pet’s recovery on a 2, 8, and 12-week schedule post-operatively. There are no additional charges for recheck appointments or follow-up radiographs (x-rays) to ensure your pet is recovering normally and to uphold your satisfaction.

It is reported that dogs that experience a CCL injury in one stifle have a 50% chance of tearing the CCL ligament in their other knee. Many patients evaluated for a CCL injury will likely have some form of CCL insufficiency (partial or complete) in the associated knee. The surgeons at VVS have comprehensive expertise with the treatment of bilateral (both sides) CCL injuries. With some techniques and specific patients, it is possible to perform the surgeries on both limbs simultaneously as opposed to staging the procedures a few months apart. This has the advantage of a shorter recovery period. A faster return to function is more economical without increasing post-operative complication rates.

More information can be found at the American College of Veterinary Surgeons website.

ACVS Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease

Femoral Head & Neck Ostectomy
Canine Hip Dysplasia is associated with the abnormal formation of the hip socket that can lead to crippling lameness and painful arthritis. This severe degenerative joint disease is often diagnosed with the help of radiographs (x-rays). Dogs affected with hip dysplasia are often shown to have laxity present between the femoral head and acetabulum, which results in incongruent joints. This subluxation can cause soft tissue damage, severe cartilage erosion, and boney malformation resulting in osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease. If left uncared for, this cartilage degeneration could lead to full cartilage loss, resulting in bone-on-bone contact. Removal of a smooth gliding surface in the joint and exposed nerve endings on the bone makes this extremely painful. Varying treatment options exist depending on the patient’s age, comfort and activity levels, and hip joint degeneration stage. Once end-stage degeneration occurs, surgical treatment options are limited to a total hip replacement and a femoral head and neck ostectomy.


Our veterinarians advise an FHO for end-stage or severe CHD. During this procedure, the painful arthritic or dislocated hip joint is removed, eliminating the bone-on-bone contact. Fibrous tissues and the remaining joint capsule help hold the limb in place, while a pseudoarthrosis (false joint) replaces the pre-existing hip joint. This procedure is generally regarded as most effective in smaller patients; however, no definitive size limitations exist.


With appropriate patient and post-operative physical therapy selection, the outcome for patients receiving an FHO can be highly successful. Though the procedure does not give them a “new hip,” it does allow for a more comfortable range of motion following the surgery. The outcome of this procedure is mainly dependent on the severity of the condition pre-operatively and the level of aftercare provided following the surgery.

FHO For The Treatment of Trauma:

In some circumstances, an FHO can also be used as a treatment for severely fractured acetabular (hip socket) injuries, femoral head, and neck fractures or luxations. This procedure may simplify repair or recovery in patients following severe trauma, especially if multiple other injuries exist.

The radiograph below shows a patient with a right acetabular fracture (hip joint on the right side of the picture). An FHO was performed (radiograph below), and the pelvis went on to achieve boney union.