K9 Officer Porter

Trooper Porter, a police K-9, was injured on the job while taking part in a search and rescue mission where he suddenly fell 25 feet from a cliff and injured his right forelimb. After being rushed to an area veterinary clinic, X-rays ruled out the possibility of a fracture. Porter’s forelimb was placed in a splint to await further evaluation. Six weeks later, an MRI was performed to look at the structures in his arm and wrist. Throughout this time, Porter could not walk properly on his forelimb. His rehabilitation therapist knew that more could be done to improve Porter’s injury and contacted Dr. Sherman Canapp for his opinion in spite of exhausted financial resources. Dr. Canapp immediately contacted Project GO for financial assistance and arranged Porter’s visit to VOSM for evaluation and treatment.

Dr. Canapp provided Porter with a full orthopedic examination to determine his injuries and the next steps needed. The injury was localized to Porter’s right carpus, and so a diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound of the carpus was recommended to look at the tendons and ligaments, and grade any injuries seen. Dr. Debra Canapp performed the ultrasound and found that Porter had sprains in his flexor carpi ulnaris and medial collateral ligament. The injuries were found to be mid-grade strains, also known as partial ruptures, and regenerative medicine therapy with stems cells and platelet rich plasma was recommended as a treatment option. Porter was also recommended to wear a custom brace to protect the regenerative medicine treatment and soft tissues during healing.

A sample of Porter’s bone marrow was collected from his femur, along with a sample of blood, and these were processed into bone-marrow derived stem cells and platelet rich plasma (PRP). The stem cells and PRP were combined. The combination was then injected into Porter’s injured tendons and ligaments using ultrasound guidance. While waiting for the custom brace to be made, Porter was placed in a fiberglass splint. He was allowed to return home the following day with instructions to continue care with his rehabilitation therapist until his next appointment at VOSM.

Four weeks after treatment, Porter was evaluated by Drs. Sherman and Debra Canapp. The physical examination showed that Porter was adjusting well to using his new brace and was attempting to walk appropriately about 50% of the time. After confirming his was healing properly, Porter was allowed to begin formal weekly rehabilitation with his primary therapist.

Porter again returned to VOSM for an eight week re-evaluation of his healing. Drs. Sherman and Debra Canapp noted that Porter was more comfortable walking in his brace, and that the swelling of his carpus had improved. The recheck ultrasound revealed that the flexor carpi ulnaris strain and the medial collateral ligament sprain were both improved and that his healing continued within the expected timeframe. Porter was then allowed small, gradual amounts of dynamization of his brace to allow for limited, controlled movement of his carpus. He went home to receive more weekly rehabilitation therapy as healing progressed.

Porter continues his recovery with the help of VOSM and his local rehabilitation therapist and primary care veterinarian.