Orthopedic Surgeries

Femoral head ostectomy

This surgical procedure involves removing the head (ball joint) of the femur to relieve pain and alleviate hip problems. Common problems helped by a femoral head ostectomy include:

  • Hip dysplasia (improper hip development)
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease (disintegrating femoral head)
  • Hip fractures
  • Hip dislocation


We generally recommend amputation when a limb is diseased and/or severely injured. Common problems helped by amputation include:

  • Severe trauma
  • Malignant tumors
  • Osteosarcoma (bone cancer)
  • Improper bone development caused by birth defects

Medial patellar luxation repair

Patellar luxation is one of the most common orthopedic injuries affecting our dogs, and it is found in higher numbers in smaller dogs like Yorkshire and Boston terriers. It occurs when the patella (kneecap) gets out of its groove with the femur. It generally occurs after trauma, but can also be caused by birth defects that result in improperly formed femurs and tibias. Depending on the severity of the injury, surgery may involve reconstruction of tissues around the knee, altering the groove of the femur and/or realigning the patella and the surrounding tendons.

Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture Repair

Extracapsular repair -Lateral Fabellar technique (Nylon Band Technique)
Cranial cruciate ligament rupture is the most common orthopedic condition of dogs and affects all breeds. The lateral imprication is ideal for small dogs and shows excellent results in small breeds but is not recommended for dogs > 65 pounds. If a dog is suffering from this condition it is important to know what went wrong. The cranial cruciate ligament is one of the main stabilizers of the stifle joint in dogs (equivalent to the knee in humans). The ligament is there to prevent forward motion of the tibia bone (shin bone in humans), relative to the femur bone (thigh bone), to prevent further rotation of the tibia bone and limit hyperextention of the stifle. However, this cranial cruciate ligament may undergo tearing or can sometimes rupture during normal physical activity. When the ligament tears, the “knee” becomes unstable resulting in pain due to the joint capsule being stretched, arthritis and potential damage to the meniscal cartilage. In surgery, it will first be determined where the tears are and if the medial meniscus is torn (occurs within 50% of dogs with a cruciate ligament tear) which makes the procedure more difficult.

A heavy nylon material is tied from the lateral flabella to the tibial crest, to stabilize the joint. When the scar tissues forms over the nylon, it will stabilize it even further. The success rate after surgery is about 85% of the dogs will show significant improvement. However, 50% of the dogs after surgery will still show some signs of lameness, either mild or only after heavy activity while the other 50% will regain completely normal function of their limb.

TPLO Surgery

It’s extremely common for dogs, especially older and overweight dogs, to rupture their cranial cruciate ligaments (CCL). This ligament is found in the knee and its human equivalent is the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. When a dog ruptures this ligament, their knee joint becomes unstable and they can no longer walk on the affected limb. Because CCL tears cause such significant mobility issues for pets, it’s important to get these injuries treated as quickly as possible.

East Padden has partnered with SawTooth Specialty Surgery Services to provide the TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) procedure here in Vancouver Washington. The TPLO method of CCL repair procedure rearranges the bones of the knee joint to eliminate the need for the CCL. The cut is made in the weight-bearing portion of the tibia, so this surgery requires more postoperative recovery time and rehabilitation. However, research shows that dogs return to weight bearing faster, regain muscle mass better, and have less arthritis long term compared to other procedures offered in our area.

For more information on orthopedic surgeries performed at East Padden Animal Hospital, give us a call at 360-892-1500.