Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition occurring primarily in young growing dogs that results in the abnormal development and growth of the hip joint (first x-ray). It is a painful condition that leads to arthritis and decreased function. Although both hips are usually affected, it is not uncommon for only one side to show symptoms.
Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO) is a specialized surgical procedure used in the treatment of hip dysplasia. The name simply means cutting the pelvis in three places. The cuts (osteotomies) allow the the pelvic socket (acetabulum) to rotate into a better position to cover the head of the femur, thus stabilizing the hip joint. A specifically designed surgical plate is placed on the newly cut wing of the pelvis (Ilium) to allow healing (see x-ray). The other two cuts do not need to be plated because they are not weight bearing bones and will heal on their own. Immediately following surgery the corrected hip joint may still appear to be not completely covered by the pelvic socket. This is due to the pre-existing laxity within the joint and will tighten up over the next 6 to 8 weeks.
It is important to understand that a triple pelvic osteotomy can only be performed before arthritic changes become too severe. An ideal candidate is under 12 months of age with minimal to no evidence of arthritic changes on radiographic evaluation. Post-surgical TPO If both hips are involved, the most severely affected side should be done first. The second hip is usually done about 6 weeks later. In some instances, although both hips are affected, only one side may be a candidate due to conformation that cannot be overcome or existing arthritic changes.
The recovery time for surgery is about 12 weeks. During the first 8 weeks there is no running, jumping, rough play or excessive stairs; only short leash walks to urinate and defecate. At the 6 week re-check all patients will be sedated, and radiographs of the pelvis will be taken to evaluate bone healing. The last 4 weeks are a gradual return to normal activity.