Hip Dislocation

Hip Dislocation

What is a Hip Dislocation?

Dislocation of the hip is where the hip has come out of the acetabulum (hip socket). This is most common after sudden, severe trauma such as a car accident, but can occur with less severe trauma where the hip joint is not normal, for example hip dysplasia.

How are they diagnosed?

This can be suspected on palpation as there is usually very marked pain on trying to manipulate the hip joint by extending and flexing the upper hind leg. The top of the greater trochanter of the femur also often sits above a line between the top of the ilium and ischium, in most hip dislocations. Taking a xray of the dog on it’s side is usually the quickest way to provide definitive proof. This can be accomplished awake by gently lying the dog on it’s side. Anaesthetising the dog is normally NOT required and costs the clients money that would otherwise be available to spend on treatment.

Treatment options

Manual replacement of the dislocated hip under general anaesthesia is the quickest and cheapest option, BUT, unfortunately, in most cases these re-dislocate in the hours and days after surgery. Removal of the Femoral Head and Neck (FHNE) to stop the bone and bone contact between the pelvis and the femur works well for many cat’s and dog’s BUT this is still essentially a salvage procedure, ie procedure of last resort due to cost. Surgical replacement of the hip and holding it in place via a toggle pin through the acetabulum of the pelvis and the use of Arthrex fibre wire through the femoral head and neck offers return to normal or near normal function in as little as 6 weeks post surgery.

Arthrex fibre wire prior to being pulled through pre-drilled hole in the femoral head and neck

Surgery cost

FHNE through BPS costs around $1 to 1.3k.

Hip dislocation repair via toggle pin and Arthrex fibre wire costs $1.5 to 2k….around 1/3rd of the cost of the same procedure at referral centres.

Recovery and aftercare

Care post surgery is not onerous and is simply cage rest with lead toilet walks for 4 weeks to allow the structures such as the joint capsules and muscles to heal post surgery. The period between four and six to eight weeks is about increasingly long walks several times per day, to allow muscles strength to return and full return of use prior to full off lead from as soon as 6-8 weeks post surgery.

Scot Plummer

Meet Dr. Scot Plummer


Since childhood, Dr. Plummer has been passionate about caring for animals, and graduated with Honours in a Bachelor of Veterinary Science from the University of Queensland. He opened the Brisbane Pet Surgery with the aim of making quality pet care affordable for everyone.

About Scot Pricing Philosophy

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