Laurie's Blogs.


Nov 2012

Toggle pin for hip dislocation & late stage rehab question

Hi Laurie,

Question for ya.... Hope you don’t mind. 

I have a 9 year-old Border collie mix, competitive agility dog that underwent a toggle pin surgery (toggle pin technique and used Tightrope implant) for the treatment of a traumatic cranio-dorsal hip dislocation. 

We are almost at 8 weeks post-op and she is looking really good.  I have asked her surgeon about guidelines for rehab, and she couldn’t give me any...she just wanted me to evaluate and treat.  

I feel like I am ready to start pushing her more.  So, I wanted to know if you have any experience with these guys, and how fast to progress them.  Have you ever had them dislocate again?  Seems the implant would have to fail for that to happen. 

When would you start destination jumping?  Running?  Stairs?  Seems like the biggest thing to avoid would be jumping and landing on the hind legs (which would replicate cranio-dorsal direction), but what about other stuff? 

Right now I am doing UWTM, balance exercises on the Bosu ball, cavaletti’s (walking over and crawling under), soft tissue work and laser.  The owners are EXTREMELY diligent (and a bit frustrated because they can’t get any answers regarding what to expect for the long term in terms of her agility career). 

Any ideas of more exercises and your opinion on rate of progression to return to sport would be most appreciated! 

Thanks, K


Hey K, 

I’ve only seen a handful of these.... but they have all done fabulously well!

So your dog is 8 weeks now.  You can start lots of fun stuff now.

I think it would be just fine to allow stairs.  I’d do trotting exercises with her as well before true running. 

Destination jumping (UP onto a low platform) would be fine.  I’d also do step ups (front legs up on a stool / bench / platform, place the ’affected’ leg up and place the foot on the surface (and hold), then ask the dog to ’get up’.  You tend to get a good strong quads / glutes contraction with this.

If you have a treadmill, I’d do front legs off / rear legs only treadmill and then resist the ’good leg’ throughout the range.  I’d add weave poles, and crawling under (shoulder height, not under a bed or anything that low). Then get her doing weave poles, backing up, and tug of war as well. 

My general thoughts would be to strengthen the big power muscles now... before you allow some unleashed bursts.  When you start bursts, I’d go with running between owners, short retrieves, and 3 minutes off leash in the back yard. 

I’d make the return to sport goal to be 16 - 20 weeks post op.  So you can really ‘up the ante’ now!!! 

And yes, the implant would have to fail for it to subluxate again.  So build muscle-muscle-muscle now!!! 

All the best!