A luxation or dislocation occurs when a joint is disrupted and the attachments of one bone to an adjacent bone are broken down.
It is most obviously seen with the x-ray on the left showing a dislocated hip.
The hip is probably the most commonly encountered injury of this type but we can see damage to any joint. Damage to some joints is such that the only option is arthrodesis.
Dislocation of the hip can be dealt with in a number of ways and we have to take many factors into account. For instance, what are the chances of the repair being successful ? With cats, and some dogs we can consider Femoral head and Neck Excision , just as we do with patients suffering from Legge Calvé Perthes.
Other options include returning the 'ball' back into the socket. The main obstacle to the success of simply doing this is keeping it in location. People who dislocate their shoulder are very prone to suffering this injury again because of the damage to tissue around the joint, and the same is true of pets.
A variety of options can be used to try & repair the joint.
One option is to drive a pin across the hip joint. It will keep the bones in the right location whilst the tissues around the joint repair themselves, and tighten up. The pin can then be removed a few weeks later.
Alternative methods are to perform a similar function but using materials such as nylon anchored inside the joint and then on the external surface of the bone.
Obviously the patient has to be exceptionally well rested during recovery so that they do not place too much stress and strain upon the materials use to carry out the repair.
A problem that we encounter with some dogs is that the dislocation has occurred too easily because the socket is 'shallow' as a result of hip dysplasia. In these patients, an option is to consider joint replacement. This procedure is only performed by certain orthopaedic specialists and is very costly.