by Dr Justin Ward, Reedy Creek Veterinary Surgery, Varsity Lakes, QLD
This saw is specifically designed for use when performing a Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy (TPLO). While a lot of vets are moving towards battery-operated equipment, I prefer this pneumatic saw.
What’s good about it
There are a few different saws that can be used to do a TPLO procedure but I like this air-driven saw for a couple of reasons. It’s significantly cheaper than the battery-operated versions and offers reliable, consistent power. I like the vertical shape of the handpiece. I find that when making a cut with a curved saw blade, it is easier to get everything perfectly aligned with a vertically oriented saw. Most of the other brands have a pistol-grip design so you’re holding them at an angle.
Initially, I was concerned that because the saw is attached to an air hose, it may limit manoeuvrability but it really doesn’t. The other great thing about this saw is that because it’s driven by compressed medical air, there’s not much that can go wrong. It’s a powerful and simple bit of kit.
While battery-powered tools are growing in popularity—and I own some of those tools—I think this is a better option for TPLO procedures. You never have to worry about flat batteries, there’s nothing that can really break and the vertical shape allows for extremely accurate cutting. And it’s significantly cheaper than the other saws on the market!
What’s not so good
While the attached hose does slightly limit movement, this is not a problem when performing a TPLO procedure as it’s only a single cut. You also need to purchase a hose and air canisters so it’s probably not ideal for vets who travel around.