Orthopedic Surgery


Orthopedic surgery is the treatment of the musculoskeletal system (including bones, cartilage, joints, ligaments and tendons). Veterinary Surgery Center of Sarasota offers a wide variety of orthopedic surgical procedures as well as medical (non-surgical) options. Some of the conditions VSC treats can be effectively treated with a single procedure while others require life-long therapy. When extended therapy is necessary, we work with your primary veterinarian for a long-term management protocol. The surgeries and treatments listed below are some commonly performed at VSC.

  • Ruptured Cranial Cruciate Ligament
  • Extracapsular Techniques (Fabellotibial Suture, Fastak, TightRope)
  • Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)
  • Cranial Closing Wedge
  • Arthroscopy
  • Biceps Tenosynovitis and Bicipital Release
  • Joint Arthrocentesis (Joint Taps)
  • Joint Luxation
  • Hip TightRope/Toggle Pin
  • Patella Luxation
  • Fracture Repair
  • Arthrodesis
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia Surgeries
  • Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO)
  • Angular Limb Deformity Correction/Limb Lengthening
Ruptured Cranial Cruciate Ligament

The cranial cruciate ligament is equivalent to the ACL in the human knee. It prevents the tibia (shin bone) from sliding forward when a pet places weight on the limb. The instability after the ligament tears leads arthritis and chronic pain. There are a variety of surgeries that can be performed to correct the problem and depend on the animal’s breed, weight, and activity level.

Extracapsular Techniques (Fabellotibial Suture, Fastak, TightRope)

This group of surgeries works by stabilizing the joint by replicating the torn ligament using strong, artificial material outside of the joint, under the muscle and skin, to replicate the original ligament function. Ultimately scar tissue replaces the artificial material and stabilizes the joint.

Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)

One of the most common surgeries performed in orthopedic surgery, the TPLO stabilizes the knee by changing the mechanics of the knee, ultimately removing the necessity of the damaged ligament during the stride. The surgery uses a strong metal plate and bone screws to keep the bones in their new position until they heal.

Cranial Closing Wedge

This is a procedure similar to the TPLO in dogs that have an abnormal shape to their tibia bone. This procedure is not frequently performed.


A small camera is used to evaluate the joint to diagnose a disease or condition and guide instruments to treat the condition. The arthroscopy and surgical therapy are performed through a series of small 1-2mm holes rather than a large incision. This allows for faster healing and return to normal activity. The stifle (knee), elbow, shoulder, hock (ankle), and hip are the most common joints evaluated.

Biceps Tenosynovitis and Bicipital Release

The biceps muscle starts at the shoulder joint and attaches on the upper forearm bone near the elbow; it is one of the muscles responsible for flexing the elbow. Some dos can develop repetitive stress injury or inflammation at the tendon within the shoulder. Dogs tolerate the surgery very well and it is typically done arthroscopically.

Joint Arthrocentesis (Joint Taps)

This is a simple procedure to sample joint fluid from a joint to look for evidence of arthritis, infection, or other diseases.

Joint Luxation

When a joint is exposed to a significant force or placed in an abnormal postion, the bones that connect at the joint can dislocate, or “pop out of the socket.” The bone needs to be re-placed (reduced) as soon as possible. Often times a surgery is necessary to treat the condition and stabilize the joint.

Hip TightRope/Toggle Pin

Often times when the hip luxates, additional stabilization is needed to keep the ball of the joint within the socket. This can often be done with an artificial ligament that travels through the middle of the head to create a replacement ligament.

Patella Luxation

Some dogs are bone with growth defects of their femurs (thigh bone) or their hips resulting in excessive curvature of the bone. The patella (knee cap) fails to develop in its normal position and starts to “pop out” of its natural groove. The corrective surgery involves several procedures to keep the patella in place. The surgery is well tolerated and the dogs typically recover well.

Fracture Repair

VSC uses a wide variety of surgical implants and devices to set bones that are fractured. We treat every case differently based on the location of the fracture, activity and age of the animal, etc. Bone plates, pins/wires, external fixators, casts/splints, bone cement, etc., can all be implemented depending on what is the best treatment. We also use a variety of minimally invasive techniques when possible to speed the patient’s recovery time.


When a joint is traumatized or the support structures become too weak to support the animal’s weight, the joint collapses when the patient stands on the limb. The arthrodesis is a procedure to fuse a joint or a series of joints into a natural standing position. The cartilage is removed and the bones are supported with a bone plate so that the they fuse together in that new shape.

Canine Hip Dysplasia Surgeries

Double (DPO) and Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO)
This is a procedure that is performed in dogs <1year that have hip dysplasia without severe arthritic changes in the hips. The procedure creates more coverage of the hip so that it is less likely to dislocate.

Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis (JPS)
This is a procedure performed on puppies up to 4mo of age that have hip dysplasia. During surgery on of the growth plates in prematurely closed through a very small incision to force the hips to develop in a direction that favors better coverage of the head of the femur.

Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO)

This procedure is performed on both dogs and cats for the treatment of multiple hip injuries and diseases. When the hip joint is irreparably damaged or the patient no longer responds to medical management, the head of the femur can be surgically removed to prevent bone-on-bone contact and rubbing. Several factors dictate how well the patient does during recovery but active physical therapy is key to a good recovery.

Angular Limb Deformity Correction/Limb Lengthening

Long bones grow from regions at the beginning and ends of the bones called physes (growth plate) until the patient matures. When the growth plate is disturbed due to trauma, genetic abnormalities, or nutritional deficiencies/excesses, the bone(s) grow in an abnormal shape and direction. This results in compromised limb use or arthritis that can become crippling. We often are able to correct the bone shape with a variety of procedures and materials.



8033 Cooper Creek Boulevard,
        #101, University Park,
        Florida 34201


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