Below are two case studies about ‘Meg’ & ‘Fred’. They both had failed DeAngelis cruciate rupture surgery procedures but are now back on track after being repaired with our new Tightrope surgery technique.
Meg, a 6 year old Maltese cross (weighing 7kg’s); came to our clinic for a second opinion as she had torn her cruciate 13 weeks earlier and had had a standard DeAngelis procedure done at the time to fix her knee. Meg never did well. 13 weeks post surgery she was unfortunately still very lame and not showing any signs of improving.
Although it is always possible for the very best of surgeons to have the odd failure, what was strange about Meg’s case was that no follow up assessment or advice was given as to why she wasn’t improving very well post surgery. As standard practice at SAH, if a post surgical candidate is not doing as well as expected, they need to be re-sedated and re-assessed and x-rayed. Meg’s owner was simply told to have her remain on pain killers (which should not be needed post surgery for more than 10-14 days maximum in our experience).
So we sedated and assessed Meg and found that her DeAngelis prosthesis had completely failed and her knee was very unstable. We advised that surgery needed to be repeated, but also advised of the Tightrope Surgery technique that is potentially better than DeAngelis (or we could just re do the DeAngelis procedure). Meg’s owner decided second time round to go for the more advanced, improved procedure. See photos of Meg’s surgery (WARNING: Graphic content on display).
Meg never looked back! Within the very first week of her Tightrope procedure, Meg’s owner noticed how much better she was doing. There was no need for pain killers after the first week and within 12 weeks she was running around like normal!
Following is a testimonial from Meg’s owner:
“Meg was first seen by Melyssa at Southern Animal Health on June 10th 2015, 13 weeks after having surgery on her right hind leg elsewhere.
Meg was still really painful, still on pain relief medication and couldn’t walk for more than 5-10 minutes without becoming lame. She started cartrophen injections and had X-rays performed under sedation at Southern Animal Health which revealed her knee needed more surgery. Meg was booked in with Dr Karin for surgery on June 22nd 2015.
One week after surgery, Meg was off all her pain medications and was recovering well. It is now 13 weeks after her surgery and she is back to her normal happy healthy self. She is off all her pain medications, swimming and getting back to her normal walks again. All the vets at Southern Animal Health have been amazing; following up with me weekly and ensuring that Meg is pain free and comfortable. The nursing staff have also been amazing, very welcoming and looking after Meg like one of their own. Meg still has a little bit of muscle wastage in her leg, but she is building that up with her weekly swimming sessions”.
Just a few short weeks after surgery, Meg is walking much better than after her failed DeAngelis procedure.
Fred is a 6 year old Staffordshire cross weighing 22kg who, similarly to Meg, had a failed DeAngelis procedure. Again, the owner decided to do the Tightrope surgery technique as a follow up surgery. Second time round after the Tightrope surgery procedure, Fred improved at a much greater rate and this time round the procedure held up well.
Having started offering this newer Tightrope surgery technique in 2015, and having done about 20 procedures so far (September 2015); our surgeons are convinced this is a superior technique to DeAngelis – especially the larger the patient. It is also a reasonable cost effective technique for larger patients for which we would normally recommend a tibial levelling procedure (if costs are restrictive).