Team Publishes Design of Novel Total Elbow Replacement for Dogs

Professor John Innes, Head Vet at Chestergates Veterinary Specialists, together with colleagues from the University of Liverpool and the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), has published the first paper on the design and biomechanics of a novel total elbow joint prosthesis for dogs.

The ‘Sirius’ canine total elbow system was designed by Dr Paul Smirthwaite of Osteogen Ltd based in Bath. In recent years, he has been working with John Innes, who is also Referrals Director at CVS, and Mr Rob Pettitt from University of Liverpool to develop instrumentation and surgical techniques to implant the prosthesis in dogs. In a paper published in ‘Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology’1, the team document the design features, the surgical technique and the kinematics of the system. Enlisting the help of Dr Sarah Channon from RVC, they used a three-dimensional infra-red motion capture system to map the movement of the canine elbow before and after implantation of the artificial elbow.

Commenting on the project, John Innes said:   ”Severe osteoarthritis of the elbow is a common problem in dogs, particularly in popular breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers.  Surgeons have been working on a total elbow replacement for dogs since the 1980s but the joint is challenging from an anatomical point of view.

“Advances in design technology have now enabled us to take CT scans of patients and to model the prosthesis on those 3-D scans. The advance of materials science also brings new opportunities and this novel prosthesis has certainly enhanced our capabilities in this important area.   The Sirius elbow has now been implanted in approximately 35 carefully selected patients and we continue to evaluate the short and longer-term performance of the system.  It’s good to report that progress is being made and we hope that the Sirius elbow may be of great benefit to many dogs in the years ahead.”

Chester-based ChesterGates Veterinary Specialists is part of CVS UK Ltd, the largest and fastest-growing mixed practice corporate veterinary group in the UK.  Founded in 1999 and run, principally by vets, it employs more than 3,000 staff at its practices and surgeries across the UK and in its related veterinary businesses, including an online pharmacy, three pet crematoriums and five veterinary laboratories.

Key to its success is CVS’ ability to attract ambitious veterinary staff and to invest in their clinical skills, knowledge and in research to drive the profession forward.  It also provides the business support to ensure its diverse range of small animal, large animal and equine practices achieve their full potential.   CVS’  guiding principles include a commitment to excellence in all aspects of its work and a focus on building long-term relationships with its customers and suppliers.  The company  works in close partnership with the wider veterinary profession and industry colleagues.