Hip Dysplasia refers to the development of poorly conformed hips commonly seen in young, large breed, dogs. There is a combination of factors which influence the development of Hip Dysplasia, such as genetics and breed predisposition, environment and exercise, diet and speed of growth. The poor conformation refers to the ball and socket joint of the hip, where the socket is very shallow, and the ball is very flattened, and does not sit within the socket allowing excessive movement between the two. The excessive movement within the hip joint causes the early wearing of the articular cartilage, and pain as a result of the impact of bone rubbing against bone. The management of hip dysplasia is aimed at control of pain and stability of the hip joint.
Total Hip Replacement or Femoral Head and Neck Excision Arthroplasty are used for the management of severe hip pain, whilst Physiotherapy, Exercise moderation, Dietary, Anti-inflammatory and Joint Supplementation (fish oils, glucosamine/ chondroitin, pentosan polysulphate injections) are used for conservative management of Hip Dysplasia.
Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis (JPS) surgery is a technique used in young, large breed, dogs who are at risk of developing Hip Dysplasia. JPS surgery is performed on dogs ideally less than 24 weeks of age, with patients of 16-20 weeks having better results. JPS surgery is a relatively minor, low risk, surgery which is performed on the pubic bone, on the underside between the patient’s legs. The surgery aims to fuse the growth area of the pubis in the young, growing patient, which then allows the hip conformation to improve by forming a better ball and socket. The recovery following JPS surgery is quick, with little notable effects. X-rays may be performed 3-4 months following surgery to assess the outcome and hip conformation. Consultation with a physiotherapist would be advised following this surgery to aid further muscular hip stability and the developing hip conformation.
Because the procedure is minimally invasive the complications rates are low, with the most common complications being infection (2-4%). Other complications may be due to injury of structures of the pelvic canal, but these are avoidable with good surgical technique.