Forums » Joint Health

When is Surgery Indicated for Joint Problems?

  • July 9, 2015 10:31 AM EDT

    When is the best decision surgery instead of pain management for joint issues?

    • 349 posts
    July 12, 2015 11:20 PM EDT

    Answered by: James L. Cook, DVM, PhD, DACVS, DACVSMR:

    This is really difficult to provide a general answer to, as it really is such a multifactorial decision that should be made on a case-by-case basis considering patient and client factors and goals. To be very general, surgery should be considered if there is a “mechanical” problem (e.g. fragment, instability, tear, etc) that can be safely and effectively treated surgically, for developmental problems (e.g. hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, etc) that have a proven surgical treatment that beneficially improves long term outcomes, or for advanced, symptomatic arthritis when medical treatments are not working well and a good surgical procedure is available.