Home care is an important part of your pet’s recovery from orthopedic surgery. Following these guidelines will increase the changes of a successful surgery.
You will need to return to the hospital at various times to have the healing process and the incision area checked. The first visit will occur 3-4 days after surgery to have the bandage removed and the incision area checked. The second visit is 2 weeks after surgery to have the staples removed and the incision checked. Eight weeks after surgery your pet will need to return for radiographs to check bone healing progress. By 16 weeks after surgery, most pets are fully weight bearing on the operated limb and exercise restrictions may be lifted at this time.
As with any surgical procedure, complications can arise. There is the risk with the anesthesia. To decrease the chance of any anesthetic complications, pre-surgical blood work is performed and anesthesia is tailored to each individual patient. Patients are given antibiotics to minimize the chance of any surgical site infection. All surgical equipment is sterilized prior to use and surgery is performed in the surgery room where caps, masks and gowns are worn.
If your dog is receiving medications such as chemotherapy or steroids, the bone may not heal well, therefore it is imperative that you inform the surgeon prior to surgery that your dog is receiving these medications. Over activity in the postoperative period may also result in poor bone healing, loosening of the screws or breakage of the implant. In addition, if your dog falls, the tibia may fracture. Arthritis (bone spurs) is usually present at the time of diagnosis of a cruciate ligament rupture and likely will progress regardless of the surgical procedure performed.