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Jasmine, Mylo, Mack, Puddy & Tye – ACL Repairs

At the South Eastern Animal Hospital, since we started offering the MMP method of stabilisation of canine stifles post ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears in Dec ’17, we have now performed 38 of these procedures.

The Modified Marquet Procedure has been shown to produce equivalent results to the current considered gold-standard method called the TPLO (tibial plateau levelling osteotomy). Research has shown there is no difference between results achieved by 12 weeks post either surgery, but in fact many of those that have stifle stabilisation via MMP show more rapid return to function. This inherently produces some challenges in trying to keep the dogs quiet/rested until 4 weeks post-surgery (walking on lead is quite ok from day one), as many of these dogs want to start running again by as early as 2-3 weeks after surgery. However, this is far too early as the bone has not fully grown into the implant at this stage. From 4 weeks through to 10 weeks post-surgery, we seek to increase their lead walks from 10mins to up to 30mins at a time and by 10 weeks, we seek to begin off lead activity with the aim to return to full freedom by 12 weeks post-surgery. This is a remarkably short period of time given that it is such a significant injury.

The five videos below demonstrate the range of dogs that the procedure can be performed on and the speed at which they return to being near normal post-surgery.

  1. “Jasmine” 6.5yo, 17kg English staffy, 4 weeks post-surgery

 

  1. “Mack” 8.5yo, 31kg American staffy, 10 weeks post-surgery

 

  1. “Mylo” 2.5yo, 30kg Labrador, 6 weeks post-surgery

 

  1. “Puddy” 3yo, 43kg Dogue de Bordeaux, 4 weeks post-surgery

 

  1. “Tye” 6yo, 8kg Jack Russell Terrier, 6 weeks post-surgery

 

Another significant point is that we only charge between $1,200 and $1,400 for this procedure, much less than any other procedure performed at other hospitals (~$2,000 – $2,500) and far far less than the TPLO procedure performed at specialist centres (~$4,800). So far we have effectively saved these 38 clients a cumulative total of between $35,000 and $130,000, an enormous amount, along with seeing their best friend rapidly return to normal after such a significant injury.

 

Finally, as mentioned previously, there is NO surgical method of stifle stabilisation post ACL tear that prevents arthritis long term. Surgery markedly slows the onset of arthritis and leads to a far more rapid return to full function, but does not stop arthritis. We are heavy users of pentosanpolysulphate (eg. Zydax, Catrophen, Pentosan 100) post-surgery. If we look after the health of the cartilage post-surgery, then the dogs do not get arthritis long term. Arthritis only occurs because of excessive cartilage wear and exposure of bony surfaces. It is this bone on bone contact that leads to joint inflammation/pain and new bone growth in an attempt to fuse the joint to stop the pain. We advise the use of pentosanpolysulphate as a four weekly course of injections at least every 6 months to look after the health of the cartilage long term.