Case: Fixation of hip luxation with a “toggle”

Hips can dislocate (luxate) because of trauma, or sometimes because of underlying pathology (hip dysplasia).

When hips luxate because of trauma they can often be reduced (put back in) without opening the joint up surgically, but the re-luxation rate can then be quite high – as many as half or two-thirds will luxate again.

Open reduction and fixation maximises the likelihood of the hip staying “in” long enough for healing of the periarticular structures (the joint capsule etc) to give long term stability. In patients over about 20 kg we often use a toggle technique where a hole is drilled into the “socket” of the hip ball-and-socket joint, and a metal toggle is passed through this to create an anchor for a piece of nylon. This nylon is passed through another hole drilled in the “ball”  and tied tightly to hold everything in place.

But even in small animals like cats, hip toggling is feasible. In this case Maciej has secured the right luxated hip of a cat with a toggle. Secure fixation was required because this young cat also had a fracture of the femur (thigh bone) of the other hind limb.1 (3)1 (2)