A Look Inside: Canine Stifle Arthroscopy
A stifle joint – essentially your dog’s knee – is one of the most vulnerable parts of the canine anatomy. It is common for dogs to rupture or strain their cranial cruciate ligament (which connects the thigh bone to the lower leg at the knee) through injury, accident, obesity, or degenerative joint disease. A tear or rupture of the cruciate ligament destabilizes the stifle joint, triggering inflammation and pain, cartilage damage, meniscal injuries and ultimately pelvic lameness or osteoarthritis.
Canine Stifle Arthroscopy
Arthroscopy has been the standard of care for human surgery for many years, and is now becoming more widely used and accepted in veterinary medicine. When you suspect that your dog has an unstable stifle, a stifle arthroscopy is one of the easiest and most effective ways of diagnosing the problem. An arthroscopic procedure begins with a small incision in the skin, through which a miniature camera is inserted to inspect the joint. The images are then projected onto a television screen in the operating room, so that the surgeon can visualize the joint. After the surgeon inspects the joint and diagnoses the problem, tissue can also be removed or repaired as needed through this technique.
Benefits of Stifle Arthroscopy
The traditional alternative to arthroscopy is an open arthrotomy, which is when the surgeon cuts open the joint to visualize it. Arthroscopy is much less invasive than this technique, so arthroscopy decreases both hospitalization time and recovery time for your pet. Arthroscopy also allows the surgeon to diagnose the joint problem in one surgery, eliminating the need for expensive diagnostics such as CT, MRI, or x-rays on top of the open arthrotomy surgery.
Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is proud to offer stifle arthroscopy as a surgical option for pets. In fact, we are one of only a few clinics in the nation currently offering this procedure. If you believe that your pet may need a surgical consultation or you would like to learn more about stifle arthroscopy, call (248) 334-6877 to speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members.