Roxy’s false joint
By Helen Burns | Dated June 27, 2019
Usually we see hip dislocations following car accidents, but for little Roxy the 13 ½ year old Cocker Spaniel, all it took was falling down a couple of stairs on the weekend. She is a stoic little dog, however was unable to bear weight on her leg, so was brought straight in to see us. Once she was anaesthetised, we could feel her hip and see that it was dislocated on the radiographs, so the next task was to try to replace it. In order for a hip to dislocate, they must not only tear the joint capsule, but also the round ligament that connects the ball (the head of the femur) into the socket (the acetabulum). Unfortunately as often happens with dogs with a dislocated hip, the muscle contracture and large tear in the joint capsule meant that each time the hip was replaced, it immediately popped back out again. Whilst of course we were disappointed that this was not going to be a simple solution for Roxy, all was not lost. After a quick phone call to her family while she was under anaesthetic, Roxy was taken into theatre and had a femoral head and neck osteotomy. Whilst it may sound dramatic to remove the whole head and neck of the femur, the resulting fibrous tissue will form a ‘false joint’, which will give Roxy pain-free mobility over the years to come.