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Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2010;23(5):318-25. doi: 10.3415/VCOT-09-04-0040. Epub 2010 Aug 25.

Canine hip dysplasia treated by juvenile pubic symphysiodesis. Part II: two year clinical results.

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  • 1Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Erratum in

  • Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol.2010;23(6):472.



To determine the clinical effects of juvenile pubic symphysiodesis (JPS) treatment in hip dysplasia-prone puppies with comparison to similar untreated control puppies.


Controlled clinical case study.


Thirty-nine dysplastic puppies, of which six were part of the control group, with a positive Ortolani or hip distraction index (DI)≥0.40.


The following eight clinical tests were evaluated preoperatively, and at one and two years postoperatively: Ortolani, hip reduction angle (HRA), gait evaluation, osteoarthritis, hip pain, and three Norberg angles (angle-extended mode [N-OFA], angle-compression mode [N-COM], and angle-distracted mode [N-DIS]). Juvenile pubic fusion (JPS) was performed by unipolar electro-cautery at 12 to 24 weeks of age; the control puppies received a sham operation.


For the JPS puppies, the mean osteoarthritis level did not significantly increase (11%). There was a 74% reversal of preoperative positive Ortolani signs. Hip reduction angle, DI and N-DIS also improved significantly. Only N-DIS fully detected Norberg angle laxity. Within the control group, osteoarthritis increased significantly (55%) with no improvement in Ortolani incidence, N-OFA or N-COM angles. A decrease in HRA and DI was associated with increased osteoarthritis levels. Signs of hip pain increased by 33%, which was not significant. Dogs with initial severe hip laxity (DI≥0.70) experienced progressive osteoarthritis.


In JPS dogs with preoperative mild to moderate hip laxity (DI = 0.40-0.69), insignificant osteoarthritis occurred at two years. Juvenile pubic symphysiodesis surgery also improved other clinical criteria (Ortolani, HRA, hip pain, N-DIS). Osteoarthritis was generally not prevented by JPS in dogs with initial severely lax hips (DI≥0.70). Juvenile pubic symphysiodesis surgery at 12 to 24 weeks of age was an effective and safe pre-emptive bilateral treatment for mild to moderate hip dysplasia.

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