Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis
The goal of Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis (JPS) surgery is to change the growth of the pelvis to improve the fit of the ball and socket joint of the hip. This surgical procedure is one that is used in dogs under 20 weeks of age to treat Canine Hip Dysplasia.
This surgery is achieved by fusing the growth plate of the pubis bone to prevent growth in this area while the other growth plates in the pelvis remain open and growing. Surgery is performed through a small incision over the pubis bone to allow for electrosurgical cauterization of the underlying growth plate. As the puppy grows, the now pelvis rotates in a favorable way to improve contact in the ball and socket joint. Because this procedure requires open growth plates in the bone, it is only effective in dogs under 20 weeks of age. The recommended age for surgery is between 14-20 weeks. The younger the puppy is at the time of surgery, the greater chance of success in improving the hip joint. Puppies with severe hip dysplasia may not have a satisfactory response to JPS surgery and may require additional surgical management of their hip dysplasia when older.
We recommend this surgery be performed in puppies that are high-risk breeds for canine hip dysplasia (eg. German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Labrador Retrievers), and in dogs with early evidence of hip dysplasia.
Some common early signs of hip dysplasia in puppies include:
Exaggerated sway of hips to the left and right when walking
Bunny hopping gait when running
Pain on extension of the hip joint
Positive Ortolani sign (physical exam test performed under sedation)
POST OPERATIVE CARE PLANNING
FOR A JPS SURGERY:
JPS surgery is performed through a small incision over the pubis bone to allow for electrosurgical cauterization of the underlying growth plate. These patients typically have minimal discomfort after surgery. Post-operative care is similar to that after spay/neuter surgery.
E-collar at all times for 2 weeks, until skin incision check.
Exercise restriction for 2 weeks: no off-leash activity allowed, no play, no jumping on/off furniture.
Monitor abdominal incision for signs of swelling, pain, or discharge.
Mild pain medication will be prescribed for 3-5 days.
Recheck x-rays 2-4 months after surgery to evaluate the hip joints
If any of these signs are noted in your puppy, it is best to seek veterinary attention soon so surgery can be considered before the growth plates close at 20 weeks. For more information about this, visit ACVS.org.