Can you give me information on cat hip reduction surgery?

My ten-year-old cat escaped from the house. He was missing for nearly three days, before we found him. We took him to the vet; she thinks he was hit by a car. His thigh was severely bruised,and he has a dislocated hip. Thankfully, his pelvis wasn't broken. The vet made several unsuccessful attempts at a closed reduction. She says he needs to have an open reduction after the bruising has healed. How successful is this surgery. Is there ever an occasion when amputation is necessary?

  • Vetinfo

    By: Julie Ann El Segundo, CA

    Replied on 04/19/2011

    A dislocated hip (ball of the femur is out of the hip socket) can be difficult to get back into the hip socket if not done soon after the injury.

    If a closed reduction is not possible there are two options.  An open reduction is a surgery where the dislocation is corrected and the hip is replaced in the socket.  A small pin is placed to hold the ball in the socket during the healing process.  The pin is removed several weeks down the road.

    Another option is a femoral head excision.  In this surgery the ball of the femur is removed leaving a smooth edge to the remaining bone.  The cat's body essentially forms a false joint as scar tissue develops and holds the femur in the correct location.  This may sound drastic but light weight patients such as a cat or small dog generally do very well after this procedure and it can be less expensive than the other options.  Most general practitioners are able to preform this surgery.

    As long as your cat's leg is otherwise healthy there shouldn't be a need for an amputation.

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