Specific 3D-printed guides ensure the precise placement of screws as part of the innovative spinal stabilisation technique being pioneered at NDSR.
NDSR Neurology Team Uses Novel Implants For Spinal Care
8th March, 2023 16h05
An innovative approach to treating serious spinal cases in dogs has been introduced at one of the UK’s leading veterinary hospitals.
The neurology team at Linnaeus-owned North Downs Specialist Referrals (NDSR) in Surrey has implemented a spinal stabilisation system (neuromed invetra™) to help treat the hospital’s canine patients.
Dr Guillaume Leblond, an American specialist in veterinary neurology, says the procedure is an exciting new development which has been successfully trialed at NDSR.
Dr Leblond explained: “Traditionally, bone cement has been used to provide support and stabilisation when treating veterinary spinal instability cases.
“Polyaxial pedicle screws have proven a very reliable and efficient way of treating such spinal problems in human medicine.
“These special screws can be inserted in the vertebrae and connected to strong metal rods instead of bone cement and we’re now very excited to be offering this new service to our patients.
“The neurology team at NDSR has been training in applying this new system as soon as it became available and we have already used it to treat two dogs, both of them having surgery on the same day.
“One was a golden retriever treated by my colleagues Rodolfo Cappello (head of neurology) and Natalie West (neurology resident), and the other was a whippet under my care. They were two very different sizes of dog but both operations went well.
“We are grateful to OrthomedTM, the company manufacturing the stabilization system, provided all necessary details to plan the surgeries as precisely as possible.
“We also collaborated with Vet3DTM to create patient specific 3D-printed guides to ensure the precise placement of screws and it proved a great solution in both cases.”
Dr Leblond has a keen interest in the use of modern technologies such as 3D visualisation software, 3D printing and real-time live tracking of surgical instruments to help his patients.
He added: “The main advantage to this cutting-edge procedure is its flexibility. Once cement is set in place it is obviously very hard to move, manipulate or remove should you need to adjust or correct.
“With the metal rod and screw system, it is more adaptable and you can adjust it far more easily and quickly.
“It may also be less prone to infection compared to cement, which has been known to harbour bacteria sometimes causing infections several years after the surgery. Another hope we have for this system is that it will be less prone to failure compared to cement, especially on extended stabilisation constructs.
“Admittedly, it is still early days for the introduction of this new spinal stabilisation system but we are optimistic it will prove a significant advancement in treating many spinal problems.”
NDSR’s hospital director Gerry Polton is equally enthusiastic and full of praise for the neurology team.
He said: “The work our neurology team is doing here is novel and ground-breaking, and we’re very pleased to be able to provide this new advancement in spinal care.
“At NDSR, we are dedicated to offering the best treatment possible and that requires us to stay alert for new surgical techniques such as this and to always be ready to embrace exciting breakthroughs in techniques and technology.”
NDSR offers specialist-led services in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery and spinal surgery.
For more information, visit https://www.ndsr.co.uk or search for North Downs Specialist Referrals on social media.
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