College well represented at surgery meeting

Surgery Resident VOS Award

Dr. Selena Tinga, a small animal surgery resident at UF, accepts her award for best podium presentation during the Veterinary Orthopedic Society meeting in Sun Valley, Idaho.

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine was well represented at the recent meeting of the Veterinary Orthopedic Society, held Feb. 27-March 7 in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Dr. Selena Tinga, a second-year small animal surgery resident and master’s degree candidate working under the mentorship of Dr. Stanley Kim, received the best podium presentation award in the prestigious Bloomberg session. The session is named in honor of  the late Dr. Mark Bloomberg, a former UF faculty member and small animal orthopedic surgery specialist.

Tinga’s talk was titled “3-Dimensional Kinematics of the Canine Cranial Cruciate Ligament Deficient Stifle After Treatment with Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy.”

She said the project has enabled researchers to determine the effects of TPLO surgery on the knee joints of live dogs naturally affected with cranial cruciate ligament insufficiency by tracking joint motion as the dogs are walking.

“Normal knee motion is disrupted when a dog has a cranial cruciate ligament tear,” Tinga said. “While a positive outcome is seen in the vast majority of dogs after TPLO, the procedure actually doesn’t normalize the motions completely.”

Tinga added that the information from her research will help small animal surgeons better understand the effect on the knee joint in dogs that need this type of surgery.

“We’re the first group who has been able to apply these techniques, which are used to study human surgeries such as total knee replacements, in live, naturally affected dogs,” Tinga said. “The owners of these dogs have been gracious enough to allow us to perform some extra non-invasive testing on their dogs after surgery and to come in for a couple of extra examinations along the way as well.”

The UF group is now performing a similar project on dogs with cranial cruciate ligament deficiency that receive lateral suture stabilization as a treatment, Tinga said. Dogs are still being recruited for that project.

Other participants in the conference included Dr. Melissa MacIver, a small animal surgery intern, Dr. Anna Dunlap, a small animal surgery orthopedic fellow, and second-year UF veterinary student and Merial Veterinary Scholar Geoff Zann. All presented in the poster session.

Dunlap and Ryan Lewis, a third-year undergraduate student who performed a summer research project in the UF Comparative Orthopaedics Biomechanics Laboratory, also gave podium presentations.

“Our small animal surgery group has dominated at this conference for the past decade,” said Dr. Dan Lewis, a professor of small animal orthopedic surgery at the college. “Not only have numerous UF small animal surgery residents received Bloomberg awards, which provide funding for them to travel to the meeting to present their research, but Dr. Tinga shares the distinction of being the latest resident to bring home the award for the best presentation in the Bloomberg session.”

In doing so, Tinga joins previous Bloomberg award winners and former small animal surgery residents Dr. Stan Kim, who is now on the college faculty, Dr. Laura Cuddy, Dr. Alistair Coomer and Dr. Stephen Jones, currently a third-year surgery resident. In addition, a number of UF small animal surgery faculty, residents, orthopedic research fellows, interns and Merial Veterinary Scholar students have presented at this conference, and several have won awards for their poster or podium presentations.




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