EMR has a particular interest in conditions affecting the hip joint with the first hip replacements being performed back in 2002 and has taken on board all the developments in this highly technical procedure, which includes cementless hips that truly integrate with the body by ingrowth of bone into the implants. There are also micro and nano hips for small dogs and cats.
There are many conditions affecting hips other than hip dysplasia - some require surgery (replacement - THR, removal - FHNO or procedures to change the shape of the young pelvis - JPS ). Other cases can be successfully managed on combinations of pain relief and other supportive medication (nutraceuticals, for example).
The elbow of many large breeds is, in actual fact, more problematic than hips but the general awareness of this significantly lags hip dysplasia. Any forelimb lame large breed that is recurrent or persists more than a day should be screened for elbow dysplasia. X-RAYS MAY APPEAR NORMAL or have only subtle changes. If seen early enough (preferably between 7 and 10 months for most manifestations) arthroscopic treatment can achieve most, although we have removed many bone fragments from animals up to nine years of age (and counting).
Most commonly we find small fragments of cartilage and bone (fragmented coronoid process). In other cases there may be erosions of the joint surface or fissures. Using arthroscopy (with a 1.9mm rigid scope to view the joint - these images are recorded to help explain the disease process) many of these conditions can be treated through keyhole (3mm) incisions using special tooling. This type of surgery is remarkable in the speed of recovery and minimal discomfort it causes to the pet. This is the type of work that EMR has developed a special interest and expertise in performing over 600 such operations annually.
For dogs with elbows that don’t respond to drugs or arthroscopic surgery, joint replacement is an option.