by Dr Ron McKay, Hervey Bay Veterinary Surgery, Pialba, QLD
This system is used for anterior cruciate rupture repair. It’s a very good system that was developed by an engineer and an orthopaedic surgeon in New Zealand.
What’s good about it
To repair an anterior cruciate using this system, you start with an anterior tibial osteotomy. You cut a wedge in the top of the tibia and move it out anteriorly. This changes the pull of the ligament across the joint and stops the instability. The Ossability system allows the surgeon to have complete control over exactly where the osteotomy is placed. It can be pre-planned using an overlay on an X-ray, which means the bone is cut very accurately.
It comes with a 3-D printed titanium wedge to fill the hole that’s been created in the top of the tibia. The titanium wedge has lots of little tiny holes in it so that new bone grows into the titanium very quickly.
The system makes for a more repeatable operation and minimises a lot of potential errors. It allows a surgeon that may not be highly technically advanced in orthopaedics to complete the operation.
When a larger dog has a cruciate rupture repair using the normal technique, the animal rarely returns to full athletic ability. The Ossability system has the dog back at nearly 100 per cent of their athleticism soon after the operation.
What’s not so good
The website has video instructions using artificial bones. It makes the procedure look very easy but, of course, it’s much more difficult when you’re working on a living animal. It’s important that surgeons ensure they do plenty of practice operations before attempting the real thing.