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The most common orthopedic problems encountered in dogs involve joints, like in people. For many years arthroscopy has replaced 'open' arthrotomy in human medicine due to the improvement in visualization and decrease in patient discomfort. Now many conditions can be effectively treated in canine patients using these same minimally-invasive techniques. Using pencil-sized instruments inserted through small incisions in the joint allows up to 20 times the magnification of the problem area. This improves assessment and repair, while at the same time significantly decreasing pain and improving recovery rates and return to normal function. In 2008 Dr. Gauger introduced arthroscopy to the patients of Norway Veterinary Hospital.
Frequent conditions found during arthroscopic examinations of the joints in dogs include:
- Cruciate ligament and meniscal tears in the knee
- Medial compartment disease (FCP) in the elbow
- Biceps tendon and rotator cuff injuries in the shoulder
- Osteochondrosis of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and hock