“Eli’s as good as new with his bionic knee!!!!”
Eli’s loving mom is absolutely thrilled that he is doing well after his orthopedic surgery at Winslow Animal Hospital. In April, Eli had surgery on his left leg after the complete tear of his Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL). Dr. Philippe Coudrai expertly performed the repair procedure. Now, Eli has a titanium foam wedge in his knee that has restored his ability to swim freely with the other dogs!
Surgery to treat lameness caused by CCL trauma or disease is one of the most common orthopedic operations in dogs. There are two cruciate ligaments within the knee joint which act in opposite directions to each other to counteract shearing forces between the Femur (thigh bone) and Tibia (shin bone). When damage occurs to these ligaments, it is almost always the cranial ligament that is affected. The ligament can be torn by straining or twisting of the ligament during intense exercise, but more commonly in the bigger breeds the ligament is gradually worn down and torn over longer a period of time. This gradual damage can wind up causing either continuous or intermittent struggles with standing and walking. It is now widely accepted that this is a ‘disease’ of the ligament rather than simple trauma. Unfortunately, once the ligament is damaged, the gradual process of osteoarthritis [degenerative joint disease] will begin to develop. Surgical treatment is designed to remove as much pain and lameness as possible and reduce the onset and severity of arthritis.
There are now many repair techniques that involve cutting into the bone (osteotomies). These include tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO), tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA), triple tibial osteotomy (TTO), tibial wedge osteotomy (TWO) and others. These operations are all designed to remove the shear forces on the joint thus alleviating pain and lameness. Recently a variation of the TTA surgery has been developed called the Modified Maquet Procedure (MMP) using a Titanium Foam Wedge insert. This development in orthopedics is very exciting because the success rate is very high and the complication rate is much lower than some of the other techniques. Dr. Philippe Coudrai has performed over 100 surgeries with this technique and would recommend it as the best option for most cases. Comparison of MMP vs lateral suture technique results of surgeries performed by Dr. Philippe Coudrai has shown better lameness scores and weight bearing, as well as earlier return to function with significantly less post-operative pain with the MMP technique.
Pictured above is Dr. Coudrai with Inky, a very special kitten. Joa’s Arc, a rescue for special needs animals, came to Inky’s aid when a local shelter asked for help with a small kitten with a fractured leg. They got Inky to a vet for emergency care immediately. It was originally thought that the fracture was stable and that splinting for six weeks would be enough to heal the damage. Unfortunately, during that initial recovery, Inky’s glucose crashed days later and she had to be stabilized overnight. By the time Inky had a couple splint changes, it was clear her leg was in bad shape. Her tibia fracture was displaced, her fibula was also fractured, and her hip was dislocated. The vet recommended amputation of the leg.
Joa’s Arc brought Inky to Winslow Animal Hospital to see Dr. Coudrai, who is well-known for his orthopedic surgeries on dogs and cats. Rather than amputate, Dr. Coudrai performed orthopedic surgery to repair the leg last week. He placed four pins to hold the bones in place and allow Inky’s leg to heal.
Inky has been recovering well and is able to move and explore, despite having so much added weight to carry around for now!