Wear Referrals in County Durham has claimed a world-first double ankle replacement for a dog.

The patient was a four-year-old Labrador called Vinny who, in 2019, became the first dog in the UK to receive a BioMedtrix canine ankle replacement system, implanted by Wear's Head of Orthopaedic Surgery, RCVS Specialist Neil Burton, assisted by Maciej Krukowski.

That first surgery, on Vinny’s right ankle, was successful. However, two years later he needed similar treatment to his left leg.

Neil said: “Vinny first presented to us at Wear Referrals in 2019 with hind limb lameness.

“He was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in his hock joints bilaterally due to a developmental condition called osteochondrosis of the talus causing him ongoing pain and lameness. We operated on the right ankle, with Vinny becoming the first dog in the UK to have this ankle replacement system placed. 

“Vinny was significantly more comfortable on this limb postoperatively but his lameness progressively worsened in the left hind limb. The decision was made to perform the same surgery on the left ankle, making Vinny the first dog in the world to have this surgery performed bilaterally.

“Vinny has made another fine recovery from surgery and is now off medication, meaning he can exercise unrestricted and pain-free without a lifetime reliance on painkilling drugs.

“For our team at Wear to be able to offer him this pioneering surgery has been a great opportunity. He’s now a unique case, being both the first UK recipient of this BioMedtrix joint replacement as well as the world's first bilateral ankle replacement with the same system.”

For more information, visit www.wear-referrals.co.uk.

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