A Systematic Review of the Literature Describing the Efficacy of Surgical Treatments for Canine Hip Dysplasia (1948–2012)

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To systematically evaluate the literature reporting outcome of surgical treatments for canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and to evaluate whether adequate evidence exists to support a procedure that will allow a consistent return to normal function.

Study Design:

Systematic literature review.


Dogs with naturally occurring CHD.


An a priori question was defined and a computer-based bibliographic search was performed on PubMed, Medline, CAB Abstracts, and Veterinary Information Network through November 2012. Studies were compared and evaluated with regard to surgical technique, study design, outcome measurements, evidence classification, and evidence quality. Unilateral surgeries with >6 months postoperative follow-up were included.


Manuscripts (n = 477) were identified and reviewed; 17 met the inclusion criteria. One study provided level I evidence, 2 provided level II evidence, 3 provided level III evidence, and 11 provided level IV evidence relative to the study question. The most common outcome measurements were orthopedic examination (70.6%), owner interview (70.6%), and visual gait observation (64.7%). Three studies used objective kinetic gait assessment. Two studies with level III evidence (total hip replacement) and 1 study with level IV evidence (juvenile pubic symphysiodesis) documented a consistent return to normal function after surgery.


Despite a large number of publications describing clinical outcome after surgical treatments for CHD, few provided strong evidence to allow an adequate assessment of therapeutic efficacy.

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