Hip Luxation: Closed Reduction


Closed reduction of the hip involves replacing the dislocated hip back into the socket by manipulation of the limb without surgically exposing the joint. Closed hip reduction always requires general anesthesia and often an epidural block.


Closed reductions are used primarily within the first few days following a traumatic hip luxation. Animals with pre-existing hip dysplasia or hip fractures are not good candidates for closed reduction.

Postoperative Care

Give any prescribed medication as directed. Do not give human pain medication to pets without first consulting with a veterinarian.

Hip luxations recur in about half of the cases treated without surgery. Recurrence of the hip luxation is almost guaranteed if your pet is not absolutely confined and restricted for at least six weeks following closed hip reduction. Exercise restriction is necessary both when the sling is in place and after the sling is removed. Your pet should be kept in a kennel or crate with good footing and should always have towel support under the abdomen as a sling when walking out-side.

Watch for the following problems and contact us if you see any of the following:

  •  Excessive swelling or cold toes
  •  Tape rubbing or causing open skin sores
  •  Sling slips over the knee
  •  Sling gets wet or dirty

Please contact us immediately if any problems are noted with the sling. We recommend reevaluating the sling every 5-7 days while in place, and the sling is usually removed after 2 weeks. Radiographs may be taken at the time of sling removal to evaluate the hip and again in approximately one month. If the hip re-luxates, then some form of surgical intervention or repair may be necessary.


Closed hip reductions have the best prognosis when performed soon after the luxation occurs, in pets with good hip conformation, and in patients that tolerate exercise restriction and confinement after the procedure. Patients with hip dysplasia frequently demonstrate recurrence of the luxation following closed reduction. Potential complications may include rub sores from the sling, recurrence of the luxation, and long-term arthritis in the hip due to the original trauma.

Your pet’s recovery and well-being are our primary concerns, so please do not hesitate to call and speak with a surgical technician or surgeon if there are any questions regarding your pet’s recovery.