Total Elbow Replacement


Total Elbow Replacement

using the TATE elbow system by BioMedtrix


Dr. Randy Acker came in to assist Dr. Dew with two total elbow replacement surgeries on February 2, 2013. Total Elbow Replacements are relatively new to veterinary orthopedics, being developed little over 10 years ago. Read more about the TATE Elbow system here.

It was Dr. Acker who developed the TATE total elbow system, named after his personal pet Tate, a yellow lab suffering from severe elbow dysplasia. Dr. Acker sought many forms of treatment for Tate, none of which proved to be very helpful. You can read more about his development here.

There are only 3 veterinary surgeons in the United States who perform the total elbow replacement surgery using the TATE system. One of them being Dr. Acker the developer, our very own Dr. Dew and another board certified surgeon and academician Dr. Dejardin at the vet school in Michigan.


Our first case study  “Dixon”, a 5 year old female spayed mix breed weighing 69 pounds, first came to see Dr. Dew in November 2012 to discuss total elbow replacement. “Dixon” suffered from bilateral forelimb lameness, severe osteoarthritis in both elbows, restricted range of motion, and muscle atrophy. Her owner believed the right forelimb to be more problematic than the left. Dixon then came back in December to be  sized for her implant. (For pictures, xrays and surgery reports for Dixon go here)

Having suffered from severe osteoarthritis the surgery took much longer than originally anticipated and as you will see was not as clean of a surgery as was York’s. From prep to recovery total time was 5 hours.


“York” our second case study, initially came in April 2012 for a consult with Dr. Dew to discuss what the options were for elbow dysplasia. “York” had demonstrated a right fore lameness for months. Radiographs demonstrated significant osteoarthritis in the right elbow, a neurologic exam and orthopedic exams did not demonstrate any other problems in the right fore. The options discussed with York’s owners  included regenerative medicine, total elbow replacement and medial compartment resurfacing.  (For pictures, xrays and surgery reports for York go here)


“York’s” surgery was much cleaner and only took 3.5 hours from prep to recovery.


Both Dixon and York were seen 3 days post surgery. The incisions were healing as expected. “Dixon” was placing as much if not more weight on the right fore than prior to surgery. “York” was willing to place the limb. Both owners were reminded about the need for exercise restriction and a slow incremental increase in on-leash activity.




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