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From dogs to people: treating bone disorders

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01 March 2009, at 12:00am

Brent Higgins reports on the latest meeting of the BVOA

The British Veterinary Orthopaedic Association (BVOA) autumn conference was held at Liverpool’s beautiful and very new BT Convention Centre from 21st to 23rd November.

 This is an annual three-day event that hosts national and international speakers in both veterinary and comparative orthopaedics. The theme this time was “soft tissue injuries of the pelvic limb and stifle joint”.

 The meeting included sessions on imaging of the human premiership footballer’s knee by Dr Brian Eyes, radiologist at Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool, and on ultrasound of the canine stifle joint by Dr Cristi Cook from the University of Missouri.

 Esther Barrett from the University of Bristol reported on the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the diagnosis of canine stifle disease and Mickey Tivers, a staff surgeon at the RVC, on computed tomographic (CT) arthrography in the diagnosis of meniscal disease.

 Dr Jimi Cook, University of Missouri, looked at the function, pathogenesis and current and future treatments of meniscal injury and Andy Taylor, a consultant knee and orthopaedic human surgeon, concluded the day with an in-depth look into minimally invasive meniscal surgery in people.

 The Friday evening event was dinner at the prestigious Trophy Room at Anfield, the home of Liverpool Football Club. After dinner several adventurers even made their way out onto the Anfield turf to get a taste for that hallowed pitch!

Saturday was spent exploring the pathogenesis and treatment of canine cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) disease. Dr Eithne Comerford of the University of Liverpool started the day with the aetiopathogenesis of CCL disease and Professor John Innes, also from Liverpool, followed with an evidence-based review of the surgical treatment of CCL disease.

 Dr Jimi Cook persuaded us of the benefits of arthroscopy versus arthrotomy and Dr Mike Kowaleski of Tufts University, USA, gave a dynamic digital display of the procedure and biomechanics of both the tibial plateau levelling osteotomy (TPLO) and tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA).

 Mark Owen of Rowe Veterinary Hospital followed up with his experience of the TTA procedure and Professor Tim Hardingham of the University of Manchester finished the day on the exciting potential for stem cell-based therapies.

 The Saturday evening function, at the Liverpool Maritime Museum, was full of great food, wine and conversation with further dancing and celebrations in Liverpool town centre.

 On Sunday Professor Stuart Carmichael of the University of Glasgow started the day with an insight into the management of traumatic ligament injuries to the stifle joint. Sorrel Langley-Hobbs from the University of Cambridge discussed the difference in anatomy between the canine and feline hock and also tarsocrural ligament injuries.

 Malcolm McKee of Willows Referral Service looked at treatment of tarsal ligament injuries followed by Lowri Davies from Weighbridge Referral Centre who gave an interesting presentation on rehabilitation of canine stifle and hock injuries.

 The day finished with Dr Mark Waller, the Liverpool Football Club doctor, who demonstrated what is involved in rehabilitating premiership footballers’ knee and ankle injuries.

 The event was a great success and was enjoyed by delegates and speakers alike. A big thank you goes to the local organisers, Professor John Innes and Dr Eithne Comerford, and to the BVOA administrator, Kamila Guilliard, for their hard work involved in making this meeting happen.

 The BVOA holds annual spring and autumn meetings. It is open to all members of the veterinary profession. Further information can be found at www.bsava.com/bvoa. The next meeting will be the Spring scientific meeting on Wednesday 1st April, which will cover several topics including locking plate systems, diaphyseal fractures in immature animals and management strategies for juxta-articular fractures.