Narwee Veterinary Hospital | Orthopaedic Surgery
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Orthopaedic Surgery

Orthopaedic surgery includes any surgery that is related to bones or joints. That includes fracture repairs, ligament repairs and spinal surgery. We have a fully equipped surgical room that allows us to perform a variety of orthopaedic surgical procedures at our clinic. In some instances your pet may be referred to a specialist surgeon who comes to perform the surgery at our clinic, if their injuries or the surgery required is determined too complex. We will always offer to you what is best your pet.

Cruciate Ligament Repair

The ruptured cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) is the most common knee injury and cause of hind limb lameness in dogs. Large breeds are particularly affected although any breed and size of dog can rupture their CCL.

Without an intact cruciate ligament, the knee is unstable. Wear between the bones and cartilage becomes abnormal and the joint begins to develop painful arthritis resulting in chronic pain and loss of joint motion. This process can be stopped or slowed by surgery but cannot be reversed.

Here at Narwee Vet we offer two types of CCL repair surgery:

DeAngelis Technique

With this procedure, a prosthetic ligament is used to replace the ruptured cruciate ligament. This prosthesis is placed around a small bone called the fabella which sits at the back of the femur. It then runs under the patella ligament, runs back through a hole made into the tibial crest, and is tightened by two metal crimps which hold the line in place.

Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy (TPLO)

TPLO involves changing the angle of the top of the shin bone (the tibial plateau) by cutting the bone, rotating it, and stabilising it in a new position with a plate and screws.  Performed by Dr Levian from Veterinary Specialists of Sydney, it is primarily performed in medium, large and giant breed dogs.


Patella Luxation

Patellar luxation is dislocation of the kneecap. It is positioned between the quadriceps muscle and a tendon that attaches to the shin bone (tibia). The patella glides in a groove at the end of the thigh bone (femur) as the knee flexes and extends. It only takes a small change to make it slip sideways. This is called luxation, or dislocation, of the patella.

Patellar luxation can affect dogs and cats.

There are four grades of patella luxation.

Grade 1: These kneecaps can be manually pushed out of position but return to the normal position by themselves.

Grade 2:  These kneecaps sit in the normal position most of the time, but when they move out, may stay out for some time before returning.

Grade 3: These kneecaps permanently sit in the incorrect position, out of the groove. They can be moved back into the normal position but often return to the incorrect position.

Grade 4: These kneecaps are permanently in the wrong position and are difficult to get back into the correct position.

Trochlea (groove) deepening surgery

In dogs and cats with patellar luxation the groove (trochlea) at the end of the thigh bone is often shallow. In these cases it may be necessary to deepen the groove by removing a block or wedge of bone and cartilage from the groove, deepening the base, and replacing the block or wedge.

Fracture Repair

Many fractures occur as a result of significant trauma. Depending on the type of fracture, different forms of treatment might be recommended. Initially, X-rays are performed to assess the broken bone and plan the treatment. Some fractures, especially in very young animals, can be treated using casts and bandaging.

However, a dog or cat cannot be relied on to rest the limb properly, and any bandaging has the potential to cause serious complications. As a result, most animals are best treated with an operation including bone plates and screws, pins that are placed inside the bone, or external frames that are connected to the bone using pins going through the skin. Some fractures are relatively straightforward to manage and others are very complex which is where we refer to Dr Andrew Levian from Veterinary Specialists of Sydney (VSOS) to perform those complex surgeries.

Amputations for severe injuries or bone cancer cases

Amputation involves the surgical removal of a body part that is diseased or damaged beyond salvage.  The aim of amputation is as a procedure to prevent pain or suffering by removing a damaged body part or to prevent the spread of certain aggressive forms of cancer. All sizes of pets can recover well and go on to live a happy life after having a leg amputated. If your pet is overweight, weight loss will help reduce the strain on the remaining joints that now support your pet.