Dislocation (luxation) of the hip (coxo-femoral joint) is a common injury in animals. It often occurs as the result of trauma (jumping, automobile impact injury) or as the result of bad hip conformation (hip dysplasia). If the injury is detected early enough after occurrence, our veterinarians can often stabilize the joint with a unique technique known as the Toggle Rod Fixation method.
1. In this procedure, the femur is isolated from the joint and a hole is drilled through the head of the femur as depicted in the photo to the right.
2. The femur is replaced into the hip socket and a hole is drilled into the acetabulum along the same axis as the initial hole drilled in the femur.
3. The femur is removed from the socket again. Using a special instrument, a strong nylon suture with a toggle rod (similar to the concept of toggle bolts used in dry wall) is inserted into the hole in the acetabulum. The toggle secures the suture in the acetabulum.
4. The nylon suture is pulled through the hole in the femur using another special instrument. Now that the suture is coming through the femur, and is anchored in the acetabulum, it recreates the function of the “round ligament” which is the body’s natural attachment between the two bones.
5. The femur is placed back into the hip and the suture is tightened to the point where the hip can rotate freely, but can’t pull out of the joint.
6. A hole is drilled across the neck of the femur, perpendicular to the original hole. The sutures are passed through this hole in opposite directions.
7. The suture is crimped together behind the femoral trochanter.
8. The muscles are sutured together and the skin is closed.
9. The dog must be rested in a cage for 2 weeks after the surgery and then exercise is restricted for another 2 weeks. If the bones were not damaged in the original injury, the prognosis is very good for a normal recovery.