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Double Trouble for Dave!

5 February 2016

Poor Dave has had not one but two recent visits to see orthopaedic Specialist Scott Rutherford. Some time ago poor Dave became lame on his right hind leg and after being examined by his own veterinary surgeon, he was found to have a condition called slipped capital physeal separation. This is a complex condition (you may remember a story that we featured very recently of Beau, a cat with the same condition), where the top of the femur (thighbone) comes away from the rest of the femur due to a fracture at the level of the growth plate (area of growing tissue in the bones of young animals). This type of injury can occur from just a minor trauma.


The surgical implants, forming the new ball and socket action of the affected hip.

The surgical implants, forming the new ball and socket action of the affected hip


Dave was referred to see Scott. Scott examined Dave and discussed the options for surgery with Dave’s worried owners. It was decided that the best option for Dave, to ensure good long term function of his leg would be a hip replacement. This type of surgery can only be performed in a referral centre by Specialist orthopaedic surgeons as it is a highly complex procedure requiring specialist equipment. During this first appointment Dave was admitted to have special radiographs taken of his hip. This would enable measuring up for his new hip implant. The radiographs of his hip were measured against templates of the various sizes of implants available.

At a later date Dave was admitted for surgery. It was a very complex procedure that was performed by Scott and a team of orthopaedic Specialist surgeons. After preparing the femur for the surgery, the implant (see below photo) is fixed into position and forms the new ball and socket joint of the hip.

After the surgery radiographs were taken to check optimal positioning of the implants. The great news was that Dave’s surgery was very successful, and he spent only a short time in the hospital receiving supportive care before being allowed to go home. Dave’s owners were thrilled to have him home, and of course Dave was very happy to go home, even though he had strict instructions for cage rest.

Unfortunately the story doesn’t end there for Dave. He recovered very well from his first surgery but a short time after the recovery period Dave became progressively lame on his left hind leg. Examination revealed that unfortunately Dave was suffering from the same condition on his left leg and further surgery would be required. Around 10 weeks after the first surgery Dave was admitted to the hospital for a left-sided hip replacement. This surgery was also a great success and a huge relief to Dave’s owners….. he was no longer in double trouble! During follow up visits with Scott further radiographs were taken and here you can see the radiograph with both hip replacement implants in place.


A radiograph showing both hip replacement implants in place

A radiograph showing both hip replacement implants in place


Dave recovering at home


Dave recovering at home


Dave recovering at home


Dave recovering at home

Dave recovering at home


For further information please see our Hip Replacement Surgery information page.

For further information on our Orthopaedic Services.