Not only in human medicine but the use of arthroscopy in dogs also has grown in popularity and is playing a significant role in most of the surgeries involving joint evolution. To put it short, you can think of Arthroscopy as the culmination of minimally invasive surgery of many kinds. Before being used this way the open arthrotomy would be employed for joint evolution.
When compared to an open surgery procedure in dogs, Arthroscopy has plenty of advantages over minimally invasive surgery. Besides the uses of arthroscopy in dogs, it can be used for cats as well, but because of size limitations, it’s not always possible. Let’s know the most common uses of arthroscopy in dogs. Let’s explore!
What is Arthroscopy for Dogs?
Veterinary arthroscopy involves the examination of the joint by looking into it. Arthroscopes are completely tiny needles, similar to rigid fiber optic shafts which are connected together to a camera system and a light source. It ensures a crystal-clear visualization of internal structures from inside the joints.
“These tools are not merely diagnostic but also therapeutic that ensures a complete diagnosis of cartilage, ligament disease, and joint capsule. Furthermore, there are cases in which these maladies are likely to be treated or cured with arthroscopic processes.”
Apart from these, the Veterinary Arthroscopes need a completely clear field built by distending the joint with fluid. When it comes to the treatment, it’s done via an additional port into the joint. Through these small ports in the pet’s joints, you can have scope for the instruments and fluid.
Why Arthroscopy in Dogs?
Arthroscopy enables the surgeon to have a clear view of joints with no issues of making a large incision. Besides, with Arthroscopy, surgeons have the ability to repair some sort of joint damage, too, during arthroscopy. It is done by the insertion of pencil-thin surgical instruments through some additional small incisions. There are a variety of joint conditions for which doctors make use of Arthroscopy for a complete diagnosis and treatment. Here are some of the parts for which it is most commonly used:
When Is Arthroscopy In Dogs Performed?
Arthroscopy, in theory, can be conducted on any of the joints, but it’s most commonly done to investigate and treat dysplasia, elbow, and the shoulder for a variety of medical conditions including, biceps tendon tears, ligament ruptures, osteochondrosis, and the like. Furthermore, Arthroscopy is more likely to be used on the knee (stifle), and sometimes, on the wrist (carpus), hip, and ankle (hock) joints.
Most Common Uses of Arthroscopy in Dogs?
The most common uses of Arthroscopy in dogs include the certain areas mentioned below:
Stifle (Knee) Joints
Because of the high frequency of cranial cruciate ligament disease (in humans, ACL), the stifle (knee) joint is a common joint to address. It ensures plenty of advantages, some of which are mentioned below!
- An intensive, more detailed insight into the joint structures through the magnified images.
- Comprehensive Arthroscopic treatment, and thorough removal of meniscal tears.
- Treatment, with minimal incisions inside the joint capsule, enables a patient to recover faster with mitigated surgical pain.
The shoulder is another joint for which Arthroscopy is most commonly used. In adult canines, we see ligamentous injuries and cartilage lesions known as osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) in juvenile high breeds dogs. Making use of Arthroscopy is an ideal way through which vets can assess the ligament structures as well as the joint surface. With this approach, there’s a feasibility for minimal tissue morbidity along with mitigated time to recover than the open approach for the shoulder joints.
The elbow joint is another common joint for which the Arthroscopes are utilized frequently. Elbow dysplasia is the main disease vets often encounter in the elbow that commonly influences dogs from large breeds. Elbow dysplasia is likely to affect the canines of different sizes, or you can say of all sizes. Elbow arthroscopy, now, has become the mainstay when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of this issue in dogs.
Arthroscopy of the elbow ensures you have all the convenience while evaluating the cartilage and bone structures in the joint enabling you to see how extensive the “damage” really is.
“Equipment, for instance, radiographs and CT scans may provide us with information, enabling us to know Arthroscopy is required. You can’t find better examination capabilities of cartilage wear and arthritic development compared to that of direct visualization ensured by Arthroscopy.”
Tarsus, Carpus, and Coxofemoral Joints
There are some other joints as well that could be approached by Arthroscopy. These include tarsus, carpus, and coxofemoral joints. Although these sites are not common, Arthroscopy with extra-articular stabilization is likely to be used to offer the most digitized and advanced care for patients.
Risks and Complications of the Use of Arthroscopy in Dogs
When it comes to the risk, it isn’t that high. There are some common risks like infections and anesthetic complications may be there but possibilities for this are extremely rare.
That’s pretty much about it! That’s all about the uses of arthroscopy in dogs. We included every most common use of the same, and hopefully, you get the most out of it! If you need any kind of further care for your pets, contact Safari Animal Hospital Pearland for a complete solution.