Vet Stories

Jul 11, 2023
Arthrex Products Help Employee’s Dog Get Back on Her Feet

For Senior Employee Relations Specialist Morgan Ryder, landing a job in Human Resources at Arthrex in 2021 was a dream come true. A Naples native, she knew about the company’s reputation for treating employees like family.

“I am so proud to work here. I support about 600 employees at Arthrex Manufacturing Inc. in Ave Maria, Florida, and we are always driving home how passionate Arthrex is about its employees.”

And this winter, an unfortunate accident brought that home to her and her husband Kyle. One of their three beloved dogs, a six-year-old soft coated Wheaten terrier named Kona, tore her cranial cruciate ligament (CCL)—the equivalent of a human ACL—while running in their yard.

“She was playing with our other dogs, Corduroy and Teddy, and she yelped and started limping,” Morgan said. “But she can be pretty dramatic, so we didn’t worry about it too much at first.”

But when Kona didn’t improve, they went to their regular vet who confirmed the ligament tear and referred them to Blue Pearl Pet Hospital for specialty care. They met with veterinary orthopedic surgeon Curry Keoughan, DVM, in Sarasota, Florida, who confirmed that Kona needed surgery. When he heard that Morgan works at Arthrex, she says he simply lit up.

“He told me, these are just the best products. It was incredible for me to see a person in the field be so excited about Arthrex products, and it gave us even more confidence in him as a surgeon,” Morgan said.

Dr. Keoughan says he first started using Arthrex products in his practice in 2001 — and he’s never looked back.

“I have always been impressed with Arthrex. I first visited the Naples campus when it was a single building; I got to meet [President and Founder] Reinhold Schmieding back then,” he said. “He told us that if we had equipment we wanted designed, Arthrex would work with us. Reinhold’s been true to his word and has put so much money into veterinary medicine.”

Dr. Keoughan used Arthrex’s TPLO Locking Plate System in Kona. TPLO stands for tibial plateau leveling osteotomy, a surgical procedure that decreases the steep tibial plateau angle on a dog’s stifle (or knee joint). That angle is typically about 25-30 degrees in dogs, which is much higher than in people.

“This is the most common surgery in dogs after spay and neuter surgery,” he said. “Dogs rupture the cruciate ligament more often than people because of that steep angle. In humans, it would be like squatting down on tippy toes and trying to stand that way. That ligament is under constant stress in dogs.”

The surgeon measures the angle of the dog’s stifle, and then uses a specialty saw to cut through the tibia with minimal trauma, so a stainless-steel pin can be inserted to create the desired tibial plateau slope. A second pin is then inserted to stabilize the slope and allow the surgeon to anchor a tibial plate in place with bone screws, so the pins can then be removed.

Arthrex also offers the option of using a TPLO InternalBrace™ augmentation technique that uses an anti-rotational suture to neutralize rotational instability in combination with an osteotomy.

“The pets we operate on do very well,” Dr. Keoughan said. “The technology has improved so much that it’s a very rewarding surgery to do. I told Morgan that I consider her part of my team, because I use so many Arthrex products.”

Within about two months Kona recovered completely and Morgan says she is like her old self.

“She is completely fine — you’d have no idea that she had surgery a few weeks ago.”

And Morgan says the entire experience has brought home why she is so proud to work at Arthrex.

“I’ve heard so many stories at the manufacturing plant where Arthrex products have helped our employees and their families. We don’t have kids, these are our fur babies, and it brings it home how much this company supports employees and all of our family members, whether it’s a pet or a human — it’s just incredible.”