Triple Pelvic Osteotomy – TPO in dogs

a procedure that can be performed in the early stages of hip dysplasia to prevent the progression of osteoarthritis in the hips and reduce the likelihood that a patient will need total hip replacement later in life.

The objective in TPO surgery is to change the orientation of the shallow hip socket (acetabulum) which limits concussive motion of the femoral head in canines. This in turn increases stability of the joint and minimizes the progression of degenerative joint disease (arthritis) as the patient increases in age.


(for younger dogs, less than 1 year old)

– Hip pain

– Rear lameness

– Reluctance to run or play

– Easily tired

– Shifts standing weight to front legs

– Lack of or loss of muscle mass in back legs

– Pain on hip manipulation

– Popping sensation in hips when walking


The TPO procedure is generally performed on younger dogs 4-16 months, but can be completed on any dog that suffers from hip pain that has not developed significant arthritis. It is not an alternative to total hip replacement, but can slow or halt the progression of osteoarthritis if changes in the joint are caught early on. The surgery has a very low complication rate and has been proven highly successful. The most common candidates for this procedure are young, large and giant breed dogs that are displaying signs such as sitting to the side, reluctance to jump, exercise intolerance or difficulty rising and sitting.


The surgical procedure requires the pelvis to be cut in three separate and specific locations. Once cuts (osteotomies) are made, the acetabulum can be rotated to catch the femoral head (much like covering a tennis ball with a tea cup) and the pelvis is stabilized with a steel plate designed for this purpose. If both hips are involved, the procedures are best tolerated if they are staged by doing the second hip 4-6 weeks after the first.