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Veterinary Spinal Surgery Course: Exciting Advances in Devices, Technology and Techniques

January 26, 2012

For information about the college's spinal surgery course offerings, please contact Dianne Ritz at 515-294-2199

Like human medicine, the field of veterinary medicine has seen tremendous advancements in technology and technique in the past decade. One of the areas of veterinary medicine with significant life-improving, life-saving advances is neurosurgery. These advancements have significantly improved treatment options for many types of spinal injuries

Veterinarians from 13 countries will meet in Ames, Iowa, Feb. 17-19 for a cutting-edge course on veterinary spinal surgery. Internationally recognized specialists in the practice of veterinary spinal and other types of neurosurgery from Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine will lead the course.

On tap to lend their expertise will be ISU veterinarians, Drs. Karl Kraus, Rod Bagley, Nick Jeffery, and Bonnie Hay Kraus, who will share their experiences, expertise and observations with participants.

The course includes classroom lectures, as well as surgical training where course participants will learn spinal surgical procedures and innovations at the side of these experienced, highly trained neurosurgical specialists.

An educational innovation at this year’s course will be the Virtual Reality surgical exercise, developed in collaboration with ISU’s Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering. The Virtual Reality exercise allows the surgeons to plan the location of the surgical devices to be implanted. This technology offers surgeons “X-Ray” vision in the operating room to make surgery safer for patients.

The course will be held at the Hixson-Lied Small Animal Hospital at the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center at Iowa State University.

About the photo:
The String of Pearls (SOP) locking spinal system, developed and tested at Iowa State University, is used to stabilize the lower spine of a working dog. Lower back problems are common in working dogs including those in the military. This is the first locking-plate technology developed specifically for use in the spine of veterinary patients. The images are of the lower back of a dog that is stabilized with two SOP plates and screws.