Small Animal Orthopedic Surgery

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Our Small Animal Orthopedic Service at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Medicine Center’s John and Ann Tickle Small Animal Hospital is committed to relieving disability and pain associated with disorders of the musculoskeletal system. We want to prolong and enhance, wherever possible, the precious relationship that exists between pets and their owners.

Our board-certified veterinary surgeons specialize in surgical and rehabilitative care for conditions affecting the skeletal system. Together with our orthopedic fellows, surgical residents, interns, licensed veterinary technicians, and 4th-year students, we are dedicated to providing the highest possible level of professional and compassionate attention before, during and following periods of treatment. We work with our Integrative Medicine, Rehabilitation and Anesthesiology services to address your pet’s comfort and quality of life in terms of acute and chronic pain.

Before Treatment

Identifying a medical problem in an animal can be challenging. We have extensive and advanced diagnostic services available to ensure that an accurate assessment and diagnosis of an orthopedic problem is made. Diagnostic tools available include:

  • High detail digital radiology
  • Computerized tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Ultrasound diagnostic imaging
  • Needle Arthroscopy
  • Nuclear scanning, for bone and joint evaluation
  • Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA)
  • Gait analysis, using force platform and infrared motion analysis
  • UTVMC Diagnostic Clinical Laboratories staffed with board-certified veterinary pathologists

During Treatment

Once the problem has been identified, a variety of current treatments are available including:


  • rehabilitation-physical therapy
  • hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • shockwave, laser, TENS modalities
  • land and aqua treadmills, and therapy pool
  • acupuncture
  • pain control
  • chiropractic


  • arthroscopy, for joint surgery
  • fracture treatment (internal and external fixation systems)
  • total or partial joint replacement
  • regenerative medicine (grafting, stem cell treatment)
  • anesthesia and pain control

Post Treatment

Once surgical treatment is complete, follow-up care is critical to a final success and is provided by our internationally known rehabilitation service dedicated to personalized care tailored to individual patients.

Clinical Trials

Platelet rich plasma in dogs undergoing TPLO surgery

Platelet rich plasma in radius and ulna fractures