Rescue dog Cleo has struggled with pain in her back leg for years following two failed total hip replacement operations. The previous surgery had only lasted a year but sadly regressed and the leg was lame once again. Desperate to find a solution to put Cleo out of pain and give her the life she deserves, doting mum Jane seeks the opinion of Professor Noel Fitzpatrick and the team at Fitzpatrick Referrals.

Their Story

Cleo was rescued when she was a one-year-old puppy and lives with her mum Jane and her animal family in Hampshire. Jane’s love for animals started in her childhood and they both live with two other rescue dogs, four horses and the surrounding wildlife.

The Problem

Three years prior to visiting Fitzpatrick Referrals, Cleo began to develop hip problems. After a second attempt at a hip replacement operation, Jane began to notice that Cleo was developing lameness in her right hind leg again, as well as lameness in her left hind leg. Cleo was referred to see Professor Noel Fitzpatrick who assessed the extent of the problem.

After assessing a CT scan, Noel noticed that the recent implant had not bonded properly. To add to the problem, the wall of the femur was beginning to crumble. The previous hip replacement attempt had gone very wrong – making revision extremely complex, as Noel would have to remove both the implant and cement. Cleo was left with two options – amputation or complex surgery to revise the hip replacement. With her other hip at risk of becoming unstable, there was no option but to undertake major surgery.


Prior to surgery, Noel designed a custom implant to replace Cleo’s failed implant. This would allow for a more precise and bespoke fit – ensuring the operation was a success.

During surgery, Noel first removed the old stem by slicing along the length of the femur and taking a section out of the side of it – like a lid. This process took precision, as there was a likely risk that the femur could fracture. He then removed the cement build-up from the previous two surgeries. It was crucial that all of the cement was removed, as remains could pose a risk for infection. A bespoke plate was then attached to the femur to prevent fracture of the weakened bone and the lid of the femur was placed back in position. A specially coated half barrel was attached with lasso wires to fill the defect in the femur and encourage bone growth post-surgery. Fresh cement was then pumped inside the femur and a new stem was inserted. Finally, a new bespoke hip socket was inserted and with the metal cup anchored in place, Noel cemented a plastic liner inside of it – attaching a metal ball to the stem and inserting it into the cup.
Two days after the revision surgery, Jane returned to Fitzpatrick Referrals to collect Cleo and check on his progress with Noel. He advised Jane that Cleo would need a lot of rehab to aid with her recovery but based on the CT scan, he believed that the prognosis was positive.

She’s so rewarding, she’s such good fun. She lives life to the full and it’s got to be worthwhile hasn’t it.


13 weeks later, Cleo had fully recovered and was back to living life to the full - running around and playing with her brothers and sisters once again.