In Ohio, a Labrador suffering from osteoarthritis had the first elbow replacement surgery done on a dog.
In the last decade, joint replacement has become common. Lately, an OSU veterinary surgeon Dr. Laurent Guiot performed elbow replacement surgery on a dog. Aside from helping pooches and veterinarians, this surgery could potentially help people as well.
Dr. Guiot called the Labrador Retriever and gently lifted her left foreleg to demonstrate the results.
“So this is the range of motion that she’s getting,” Dr. Guiot said.
Lottie, the 7-year-old dog, developed osteoarthritis in an elbow.
“That osteoarthritis is very painful and causes different degrees of disability in dogs,” he said.
If left untreated, the joint would eventually stop working. So Dr. Guiot performed the first elbow replacement on a dog in Ohio.
It was a success thanks to the technology that created an artificial elbow.
“The elbow is arguably one of the most complex joints in the body. It’s the same for people and in dogs. And it is mainly because there are three bones that are involved,” he explained.
Lottie was encouraged to walk on a mat rigged with sensors so Dr. Guiot could check her gait. It measured how much weight she put on each leg. The results showed that she did not favor the leg with the implant.
Dr. Guiot said that what vets are learning about joint replacements in dogs, may also help humans.
“The biggest challenge that we face as a profession, is to make sure that we can translate what we see on dogs towards people, too,” he said.
The Labrador is now recovering ahead of schedule and is expected to go home soon.