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Aidan McAlinden and Rob Adams operating at Northern Ireland Veterinary Specialists



The orthopaedic service at Northern Ireland Veterinary Specialists (NiVS) is provided by ECVS and RCVS Recognised Specialists, Aidan McAlinden MVB MSc CertSAS DipECVS MRCVS and Rob Adams BVM&S DipECVS MRCVS, who are the only Specialist small animal surgeons working in Northern Ireland. They have both successfully completed residency training programmes and gained the ECVS diploma in Small Animal Surgery.

Aidan and Rob have  a wealth of experience between them in the management of orthopaedic cases. Evidence based medicine is at the core of their decision-making processes and both are actively involved in clinical research and postgraduate teaching.

Following a comprehensive consultation with Aidan or Rob, patients are usually admitted for further investigations on the same day. However some diagnostic procedures or surgeries may be scheduled for another time.

We accept referrals for any orthopaedic problem or lameness investigation, and offer the following services:

Fracture management

  • Complex and simple fractures.
  • Application of AO/ASIF plates and screws (locking and non-locking systems).
  • External skeletal fixation.
  • Malunion, non-union and corrective osteotomy management.

Cranial Cruciate ligament surgery

  • Tibial plateau levelling osteotomy (TPLO):
    • From recent literature, this is the treatment most likely to return the best limb function.
  • Lateral suture/extracapsular repair.
  • Cranial closing wedge ostectomy.
  • Meniscal surgery.

Patellar luxation corrective surgery

  • Medial and lateral luxations.
  • Often more than one technique is required to manage a patient. Some of the techniques used to treat these conditions are:
    • Quadriceps mechanism realignment.
    • Tibial tuberosity transposition.
    • Distal femoral osteotomy/ostectomy.
    • Proximal tibial osteotomy/ostectomy.
    • Trochleoplasty.
    • Imbrication and sling techniques.
    • Soft tissue releasing procedures.
  • Canine and feline patients can be managed.




Elbow dysplasia

  • Diagnosis and assessment using radiographs and/or CT.
  • Surgical treatment options.
  • Arthroscopy.
  • Ulnar osteotomies.
  • Elbow medial compartment resurfacing (Canine Unicompartmental elbow replacement (CUE)).
  • Non-surgical management options.

Hip dysplasia

  • Juvenile symphysiodesis.
  • Hip replacement.


  • Pancarpal and partial carpal arthrodesis.
  • Pantarsal and partial tarsal arthrodesis.
  • Shoulder.
  • Elbow.
  • Stifle.

Angular limb deformity corrective surgery

  • These growth deformities most commonly affect the thoracic limbs but can sometimes affect the pelvic limbs.
  • Techniques used to manage short ulna syndrome include ulnar osteotomy/ostectomy.
  • For complex deformities, limb straightening surgery is often required and the bones can be stabilised with bone plates and screws but some patients will require external skeletal fixation.

Humeral Intercondylar Fissure (HIF)

  • Diagnosis and prophylactic transcondylar screw placement.
  • Previously known as Incomplete ossification of the humeral condyle (IOHC).

Osteoarthritis management

  • Pain clinics.
  • Physiotherapy.
  • Intra-articular therapy and non-surgical management.

Musculoskeletal trauma

    • Luxations eg Sacroiliac, hip, elbow.
    • Sprains.
    • Shear injuries.
  • Prosthetic ligament reconstruction.

Musculoskeletal neoplasia

  • Staging, management and limb salvage.

The team

Aidan B McAlinden

RCVS Specialist in Small Animal Surgery

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