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Your pet is suspect of having a condition that affects one of its joints. This means that based on the physical examination and radiographs performed we suspect a soft tissue or bone structure localized inside the joint to be affected/damaged. The structure(s) likely to be affected depend on the joint in question, the nature of the trauma (if any occurred), the age and the breed of the animal.

A diagnostic arthroscopy was recommended to confirm the diagnosis and better recommend treatment. In this procedure, one to three small incisions are made through the skin and joint capsule to allow for placement of a small diameter camera. The camera will allow inspection of the internal structures of the joint and facilitate diagnosis. Small instruments may also be introduced to facilitate exploration and/or treatment of the affected structures if possible. Some structures may be visualized and may not be accessed through the small skin incision and small instruments, and others may not be fully visualized by the camera.

Once a diagnosis is made, a treatment will be recommended. Surgical treatment of the affected structure(s) may be done in a minimally invasive manner (using arthroscopic instruments and camera) or via an arthrotomy (larger incision made through skin and joint capsule). Below are listed some of the common intra-articular injuries that can be diagnosed and sometimes treated by arthroscopy:

  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD): In this condition, a portion the articular cartilage becomes detached from the underlying bone and may become free in the joint causing persistent inflammation, pain and eventually arthritis. This is more often found in young dogs. The recommendation is to surgically remove the diseased cartilage fragment. Depending on the location and size of the fragment this can be done in a minimally invasive manner using the scope (camera) to assist.
  • Cranial cruciate ligament tear: This is one of the most common injuries that affects the hind legs of dogs. The tear can be diagnosed and sometimes debrided by arthroscopy, but the ligament can’t be repaired directly. The recommended treatment involves a more advanced procedure called a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO), modified or neutral wedge cranial closing ostectomy (mCCWO), or an extracapsular repair to help stabilize the joint depending on the size of the patient and the tibial plateau angle.
  • Caudal cruciate ligament tear: This ligament is affected a lot less often than the cranial cruciate ligament and it may tear as an isolated incident rarely. The tear can be diagnosed and sometimes debrided by arthroscopy, but the ligament can’t be repaired directly. Often rehabilitation therapy can overcome this injury or in rare instances it may need to be stabilized.
  • Meniscal tear: This can occur as a single problem, but it is most often associated with cranial cruciate ligament tears. The meniscal injury can happen at the same time that the � cruciate ligament tear or after the tear has been addressed by a TPLO or Extracapsular repair procedure. Treatment involved removing the affected part of the meniscus. In rare instances particularly in Boxer breeds, we can have an isolated lateral meniscal tear that needs to be addressed. It is uncertain why this injury occurs primarily in Boxer breeds.
A cancellation fee of $500 will be charged if the procedure is cancelled or rescheduled within 24 hours (not to include Saturday or Sunday as TSVS is closed on weekends) of the scheduled surgery date. *