I want to tell you something that is not widely known,

Surgeons of all stripes tend to overstate their success rates in all fields of medicine - but particularly so in orthopedic surgery. That includes veterinary orthopedic surgeons. It is not a form or deception, it is just basic human nature to want to succeed and maintain an optimistic attitude in ones chosen profession.

Studies in human medicine found overstatement of success rates as high as 35%. (ref1, ref2) In veterinary medicine a similar bias toward claims of surgical success also occur. (ref1, ref2) Because pets can't contradict their surgeons, the rate may be even higher.

The problem is particularly common in surgeries that involve joints. Joint pain is exceedingly difficult to quantify - even in us humans that can talk for ourselves. With humans, the patients want to feel better. The surgeons want to make them better and both can tilt the table in favor of reporting great recovery and attribute it to whatever was done. Pet owners want their pets to feel better, veterinary surgeons want them to feel better, so its easy to say "yeah, I think they feel better.

There is also the phenomenon of "publication and report bias". That is, a veterinarian is more likely to publish an article or report at a meeting if he thinks that something he did worked well. Much less likely to report things when they didn't work well. Reporting success is very important for a successful carrier, honor among your peers, veterinary school tenure, etc.

Many joint and muscle problems get better with rest and physiotherapy. Often, surgery is followed by rest and physiotherapy. So how do you know which was the cause of the improvement ? You don't. Besides, telling pet owners that "tincture of time" will cure their pet does not pay the bills.