Polar Bear's Broken Leg Repaired at Penn's Widener Hospital
Monday, August 21, 2006
KENNETT SQUARE, PA -- Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery at Penn’s George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals, today operated on Alcor, a 750-pound polar bear from the Erie Zoo. Dr. Richardson is the surgeon treating Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro; he was assisted in today's surgery by Dr. James Orsini, Dr. Jessica Dahlberg and Dr. Liberty Getman.
“It was an extremely difficult surgery,” said Dr. Richardson. “The ulna was broken just above the carpus (the wrist) and we were able to repair it satisfactorily with two Synthes locking compression plates. However, the radius was shattered in too many pieces to allow accurate reconstruction, so we used a single plate to partially stabilize it.”
Alcor’s broken bones were just above his right paw; zoo officials do not know how he broke his leg, but they suspect he did it while playing with his brother Mizar, another 7-year-old bear who has been at the zoo with Alcor since 2001.
“His prognosis is guarded,” said Dr. Richardson. “He is a very large animal and it will be impossible to fully protect the area post-operatively. He will have to take good care of himself.”
Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine is one of the world's premier veterinary schools. Founded in 1884, the School was built on the concept of Many Species, One Medicine. The birthplace of veterinary specialties, the School serves a distinctly diverse array of animal patients, from pets to horses to farm animals at our two campuses. In Philadelphia, on Penn's campus, are the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital for companion animals, as well as classrooms, laboratories and the School's administrative offices. The large-animal facility, New Bolton Center, in Kennett Square, Pa., encompasses hospital facilities for the care of horses and food animals as well as diagnostic laboratories serving the agriculture industry. The School has successfully integrated scholarship and scientific discovery with all aspects of veterinary medical education.
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