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Elbow replacement

Elbow replacement

Vets have been trying to perfect elbow replacement for dogs since the 1990s. The elbow is a complex joint made up of three bones (humerus, radius and ulna) and with a complex action (hinge and rotation). As such, the elbow is a challenging joint to replace. Unfortunately, dogs are very prone to osteoarthritis of the elbow and this can, in some cases, be very severe.

Professor John Innes has been involved in elbow replacement since 2004. He was involved in the first canine elbow replacement in the UK and since that time he has gone on to be co-developer of the Sirius canine elbow replacement system. This system is produced by Osteogen Ltd in Bath, UK by lead engineer, Dr Paul Smirthwaite.

It is important to understand that all canine elbow systems available are under development because this is an ‘emerging therapy’. As such, each case must be very carefully considered on its own merits. Potential candidates for elbow replacement need to be carefully assessed and an appointment with one of our orthopaedic surgeons is the start of that process.


Lorenz ND, Channon S, Pettitt R, Smirthwaite P, Innes JF (2014). ‘Ex vivo kinematic studies of a canine unlinked semi-constrained hybrid total elbow arthroplasty system’. Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology 2015 28:39-47.

Sirius canine total elbow replacement

Professor John Innes at ChesterGates is one of the co-developers of the Sirius elbow replacement system.

Elbow replacement is reserved for dogs with severe, persistent elbow pain caused by osteoarthritis. The procedure is still developing and implants are changing gradually as we learn more.

Sirius canine total elbow replacement

COVID-19 Update

Our practices are open and providing routine, urgent and emergency referral care for your patients. We continue to work safely with social distancing and a combination of telephone consultations and on-site examinations. GP vets should contact our referral centres directly for clinical advice on cases.