Debunking orthopedic exam myths
David Dycus, DVM, MS, CCRP, DACVS-SA, outlined a few myths about why veterinarians are often reluctant to perform orthopedic exams during wellness checkups. Then he debunked them.
- Myth: If lameness is not present, there are no orthopedic issues.
- Fact: Orthopedic problems often start with minimal lameness or only stiffness or soreness. Further, in a hospital atmosphere, adrenaline may hide a subtle lameness.
- Myth: There is not enough time to perform an orthopedic examination.
- Fact: Orthopedic examinations in healthy animals take 4 minutes or less when incorporated into the wellness exam.
- Myth: The orthopedic examination is challenging and will cause the pet pain.
- Fact: When performed correctly, the orthopedic examination should not cause pain or stress.
- Myth: If the joints were moved through a range of motion and there was no pain, the animal must be normal.
- Fact: Don’t rely solely on pain as an indicator of a problem; keep the motions slow and controlled to identify any spasms, tensions, or resistance to motion.