Titanium implant will help dogs

Yauheni Zhalniarovic
The Chair and Clinic of Surgery and Radiologyat the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Warmia and Mazury carries out an innovative research programme on finding new methods of treatment to help dogs with a ruptured cruciate ligament.

The problem which the team of researchers, led by doctor of veterinary medicine Yauheni Zhalniarovich from the Chair and Clinic of Surgery and Radiology, wants to solve concerns drawing up new techniques of treating the most common afflictions that dogs suffer from. Cruciate ligament rupture is a cause of approximately 80% cases of limping. The ligament rupture is a result of mechanical injury or degenerative changes. It usually happens because animals don’t have enough movement.

New surgical techniques will be based on implanting a special titanium implant to a previously incised bone. After  being implanted, the implant changes the biomechanics of the knee joint. It will help patellar ligament to take over the load of the ruptured cruciate ligament. This will reduce the knee instability. There is one more advantage of this method, the animal will be able to move normally 3 days after application of  the implant. The implant applied by doctor Zhalniarovich is a patent that the researchers from the Chair and Clinic of Surgery and Radiology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine  drew up together with ChM Lewickie company from Juchnowiec Kościelny. This company is a producer of implants and surgical tools. The design of this implant is already the third patent gained by the researchers from that Chair.

So far veterinary surgeons in such cases used so called extracapsular methods or they simply used different kinds of implants. There will be only 2 screws from the anterior side of bone needed with the new implant, instead of 6 screws used so far.

“Applying the implant will last only 1.5 hour. Such a surgery is safe” – informs doctor Zhalniarovich.

Although the implant design has already been patented, researchers from the Chair and Clinic of Surgery and Radiology still want to improve on it. The research carried out by doctor Zhalniarovich is a research grant financed by The National Centre for Research and Development. Its value equals approximately 1 million zlotys. The grant  was started in March this year and it will not be completed before 2020.