Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

'Wildcat Power Cord' repairs cruciate ligament in dairy cow's knee

31.03.2008
An 8-year-old Jersey dairy cow is back at her Kansas farm thanks to a decade of research and an experimental surgery performed at Kansas State University's Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

The cow, named Wilhelmina Jolene by the veterinary students assigned to her case, sustained a breeding injury in December 2007 when the cruciate ligament in her right knee ruptured. Dr. David Anderson, professor and head of agricultural practices at K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine, replaced the ligament using synthetic material called monofilament nylon. The procedure's success could have enormous implications for breeding quality cows and bulls with the same injury.

Fortunately, Wilhelmina's owner recognized the value of saving her. Mike Frey is the son of Dr. Russ Frey, a prominent professor at K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine. "She's owned by the son of an important faculty member in our college's history," Anderson said. "It's wonderful that there is a connection to Dr. Frey with this case and that Mike understands the teaching value."

Mike Frey said he was happy to be part of an effort that could help animals, producers and students.

"I was always under the assumption that an animal with this problem was going to be heading down the road," he said. "If they could perfect this so that a cow could be kept in production, that would be worth quite a bit."

The cruciate ligament is a dense tissue that connects the bones in the knee joint. Injuring it can be career-ending and often life-ending - until now, Anderson said.

The three surgical techniques for cruciate ligaments in large animals have a failure rate of approximately 50 percent, Anderson said. This fact caused him and surgery colleagues Drs. Guy St-Jean and Andre Desrochers to investigate alternatives in the 1990s. That's when the team designed a cruciate ligament using braided polyester; however, the material was not strong enough for heavy cattle.

Anderson continued to experiment with a variety of materials until he discovered an unusual form of nylon monofilament, a solid material about the diameter of a coffee straw. But the question remained: Could this man-made material replace the natural ligament of a 1,500 pound animal?

On Jan. 17, Anderson replaced Wilhelmina's torn ligament with the artificial one, dubbed the "Wildcat Power Cord." Anderson's surgery team included surgery residents Drs. Kara Schulz and Jose Bras, intern Dr. Manuel Chamorro, along with anesthesiologists, veterinary students and technicians.

The next day, the Jersey cow was led across the hospital's video synchronization pressure mat to determine her level of lameness. "Her stride length had increased 30 percent, and she bore 25 percent more weight on her operated leg," Anderson said. "To have that much improvement is spectacular."

His long-term goal is to develop a replacement ligament strong enough for bulls. Lab tests reveal that the Wildcat Power Cord can withstand up to 12,000 newtons of pressure - roughly 50 percent more than an adult bull requires.

Wilhelmina retuned home and was kept in a box stall for a week or so, Mike Frey said. After that, she had the run of the free stall. "It's been a tough winter with all of the snow and ice," he said. "I didn't think she'd get around as good as she did."

Shelby Reinstein, a senior veterinary student from Tulsa, Okla., was one of the K-State students who worked with -- and named -- Wilhelmina the cow.

Reinstein said she appreciated the learning opportunities this case presented, especially those relative to anatomy of the stifle and monitoring Wilhelmina for specific conditions dairy cows are at risk for developing. These include inflammation of the udder (mastitis) or of the uterus (metritis), a metabolic imbalance (ketosis), ulcers and displacement of the abomasum, the fourth compartment of a ruminant's stomach.

"We worked really hard for her and spent long hours at the hospital, but it was definitely worth it after seeing how well she did post-op," Reinstein said. "I love being part of the discovery aspect of veterinary medicine, and it is always really rewarding to try something you're not sure about and have it work. And, my parents were quite impressed that I could milk a cow!"

David Anderson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vet.k-state.edu

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht New quantum material could warn of neurological disease
11.04.2019 | Purdue University

nachricht High-strength MRI tracks MS progression
09.04.2019 | Radiological Society of North America

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>