Labradors are the most popular breed in the country, and Fitzpatrick Referrals sees up to 30 every week. Lola a golden Labrador comes into the practice unable to walk on her right hind leg. She has been suffering from an injury for years after her sister, a chocolate Labrador, accidentally trod on her when she was a puppy. Lola’s already had three previous surgeries to try to fix the problem, so Noel is Julie and Alan’s last hope. Lola’s scans are every bit as bad as Noel suspects with the surface of Lola’s femur and tibia are both dramatically collapsed. If Lola is to have a knee replacement, it will need to be custom designed specially to fit her very deformed joint, and the surgical procedure will be far from straightforward!
Lola lives with Julie and Alan and their other chocolate Labrador, Ellie.
Lola had been suffering for six years with an injury in her right hind leg that had never healed properly. It started with an accident with her older sister, Ellie, when she was just a puppy. Lola had torn her cruciate ligament and damaged her growing bones, causing her to limp and move around in great discomfort. Lola has since had three operations but none of them have totally alleviated her suffering. The family hoped that Noel would have a solution that would finally get Lola out of pain.
Having examined Lola, Noel was quick to tell the couple that Lola’s knee was markedly deformed, and that a solution would be challenging. There were two surgical options for Lola, one being a fusion of the joint and the other a total knee replacement. For Julie and Alan it was a lot to take on board. A total knee replacement would have to be custom-designed specially to fit her very deformed joint, but would give her a much more mobile life than a joint fusion would.
The couple decided that Lola had suffered long enough, and opted for the total knee replacement. Once in surgery, Noel could see the twist in Lola’s femur and confirmed that her stifle joint was in a very bad condition. To replace Lola’s deformed, arthritic knee Noel first removed the screws from the metal plate currently in her knee, but left the plate in place.
Next he removed the damaged ends of her femur and tibia, drilled holes into each cavity and then filled them with bone cement. Noel carefully placed each half of Lola’s new knee down into the cement-filled cavity to sit in perfect alignment with each other and the rest of Lola’s leg. Finally, the hinge and plastic bushings were placed in Lola’s knee to join the two halves together and allow her excellent and pain-free knee function.
“She’s known nothing but discomfort and pain for 6 years now… I just want her to enjoy some quality of life now” Julie
After a few days, Lola was ready to go home. She recovered quickly from the surgery and Noel was delighted at the result. For the first time in years Lola was able to walk without pain. Twelve weeks later, Julie and Alan brought Lola back to see Noel to check on her progress.
It was important that the bone had started to grow around Lola’s metal implant and, fortunately, the results revealed the happy news that they hoped for; the new implant was doing great and so was Lola. Lola continues to go from strength to strength – bounding around and loving life! Back at home there are no hard feelings with Ellie the chocolate lab!