Home Labrador News Vet And Engineer Team Up To Pioneer Canine Ankle Replacement Implant!

Vet And Engineer Team Up To Pioneer Canine Ankle Replacement Implant!


Idaho Vet And Engineer Team Up To Pioneer Canine Ankle Replacement Implant!While elbow replacement implants have been around for some time, a canine ankle replacement implant has never been attempted! Two specialists in Idaho aim to change this!

Wood River Valley veterinarian Randy Acker and mechanical and biomedical engineer Greg Van Der Meulen have teamed up to develop and surgically implant a replacement ankle in a dog.

“We have done two so far,” Van Der Meulen told the Idaho Mountain Express. He works for BioMedtrix, a New Jersey company and leader in joint replacement design, which patented and licenses his products.

Acker is a veterinarian at the Sun Valley Animal Center, which specializes in canine orthopedics. In 1991, he performed his first canine hip replacement surgery on a German shepherd. The operation was a success.

Several years ago Acker and Van Der Meulen designed a new type of prosthetic canine elbow which was implanted in Acker’s own yellow Labrador Retriever, Tate.

“We work together on design concepts and their implementation. I engineer the device and Randy surgically implants them,” said Van Der Meulen.

Read: Osteoarthritic Labrador Has First Elbow Replacement Surgery In Ohio

Unlike most prostheses, which use stemmed cemented components, Van Der Meulen’s products are “resurfacing prosthetics,” which require less-invasive surgical techniques.

The BioMedtrix website says, “The purpose of the TATE procedure is to mimic the fundamental motions of the elbow and eliminate the pain associated with end-stage osteoarthritis of the joint. The prosthesis is designed to replicate the joint articular surfaces accurately after these have been carefully removed.”

Canine replacement BioMedtrix elbows are now a standard item. About 250 pets worldwide have received their canine elbow implants.

The new ankle transplants, designed by Van Der Meulen and implanted by Acker, are for now a custom-designed product.

The surgical ankle procedure is still in an experimental and developmental stage. The estimated cost per implant will be between $3,500 and $4,500.

Daisy, an 8-year-old Labrador is currently under observation to measure the success of the implant.


Article and image source: Idaho Mountain Express