CLINICAL MEDICAL DEVICE STUDY – OCD surgery of dog shoulder

Professor Outi Vapaavuori’s group at the Surgery department is trialing a novel veterinary medical device, the COPLA Scaffold™ for the surgical treatment of dog shoulder osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Helsinki. After positive pre-clinical studies, this is the first use of this technique in dog patients.

The COPLA Scaffold™ is placed during the regular OCD surgery in the cartilage lesion, recreating immediately a smooth joint surface. The implant provides for the cells coming from the bone marrow an optimal environment to attach and differentiate, ultimately regenerating natural healthy cartilage as the implant slowly degrades.

The expected benefits are a faster recovery and long-term prevention of osteoarthritis compared with the current standard surgical technique.

This study aims to recruit 20 dog patients to operate 10 of them with the standard technique and 10 with the experimental technique. The costs of the implant and follow-up sessions are covered. The cost of the arthroscopic treatment is partially covered and therefore the cost for the owner is 955 euros. Physiotherapy sessions and post-surgery medications are decided case by case and paid separately by the dog owner. The owners of the dogs and the veterinary team evaluating the results will not be aware of the allotment of the dogs in the standard group or experimental group until the end of the study. The dogs suitable for inclusion in the trial are:

– Breed or type Border Collie, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Hovawart, Rottweiler, Doberman, Beauceron.

– Confirmed diagnosis by X-ray or CT-scan of shoulder OCD with indication for surgical treatment with a lesion of at least 6 mm diameter.

– Age between 5 and 8 months old.

– With unilateral or bilateral lesion.

– Available for a period of 1 year and a half to be presented at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of Viikki for a screening visit, the surgery and 5 follow-up sessions.


The veterinary surgeons to contact about this study are:

Pauli Keränen, principal investigator           p. 029 41 57290


Helka Heikkilä           p. 029 41 57357


Mikael Morelius       p. 029 41 57476