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A Day In the Life...

of an orthopaedic patient...

Evie, 6-year-old cross breed terrier.

This short video gives a small insight into a day in the life of a patient undergoing orthopaedic surgery and all the veterinary team involved.

Meet Evie, one of our lovely patients here at the Stocks vets. Evie arrived at the surgery for an operation on her stifle (knee) for a ruptured cruciate ligament. This is a condition we see quite commonly and, although some dogs will settle with conservative management, often surgery is required. 

On the morning of the operation Evie was admitted and vet, Rob, and one of our nurses, Jess, checked Evie over to make sure she was well.

Once the team were happy Evie was fit for surgery, she was given her premedication and connected to some intravenous fluids. There was a warm, comfy bed in the dog ward for Evie to settle down into.

Once Evie was nice and relaxed she was taken through to the surgical preparation room where she was anaesthetised with an injection and an endo-tracheal (breathing) tube placed to provide oxygen and anaesthetic gas to keep her asleep. The affected leg was then clipped, cleaned and prepared for the surgery.

The nursing team then moved Evie through to theatre where the orthopaedic surgeon, John, was ready to position her leg and begin the surgery.

Lots of equipment and surgical instruments are required for surgery, even on a tiny little leg! The equipment is sterilised prior to the operation in separate packages opened as needed throughout the procedure.

The team proceeded with the operation, and ensured that Evie was stable throughout her anaesthetic. The nurse monitored Evie closely throughout the procedure carrying out checks such as recording her heart and respiration rate, blood pressure, temperature, oxygen saturation and CO2 levels.

With the surgery complete, Evie was taken through to the imaging room to have the leg x-rayed so John could check that the surgical plate was in the desired position.

At the end of the anaesthetic, Evie was moved in to the recovery ward where the nursing team ensure Evie had a pain free, comfortable recovery. Regular checks were carried out throughout the day and Evie is kept warm and snug with specialised equipment such as a ‘Bair Hugger’ which is a patient warming system used to blow warm air over patients in recovery to stabilise their body temperature.

Following surgery our super-efficient animal nursing assistant, Alex, turned a very messy theatre in to a clean, gleaming theatre, all ready for the next operation.

After all the day’s procedures have been carried out the whole vet and nursing team carry out a ward round where they discuss Evie’s progress and arrange a time for her to go home. When her owner came to collect Evie head nurse Jess went through the aftercare and medication regime ensuring they were happy with all the post operative care advice given.

Well done to Evie for being a super star patient, she really is a lovely little dog who was incredibly brave throughout the whole day! We won’t forget to mention a big thank you to all the veterinary team involved too, who made sure that Evie, like all our patients, was given gold standard care throughout the day!