Noel Fitzpatrick

Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, originally from Laois, Ireland, obtained his Bachelor of veterinary medicine from University College Dublin in 1990. Following scholarships at The University of Pennsylvania and The University of Ghent, he went on to complete the RCVS certificates in small animal orthopaedics and radiology prior to founding Fitzpatrick Referrals in 1997. In 2008 he opened the UK’s pre-eminent and largest dedicated small animal orthopaedic and neuro-surgical facility in Surrey, employing over 100 veterinary professionals and comprising state of art surgical, diagnostic and rehabilitation facilities. Noel has attained boarded specialist status by examination in both the USA and the UK, with the degrees of ACVSMR, American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, and DSAS(Orth), the Diploma in Small Animal Surgery (Orthopaedics).

The Mission of Fitzpatrick Referrals is to deliver with compassion and integrity the best treatment in the world for every animal entrusted to our care. The Vision of Fitzpatrick Referrals is to move medical science forward by providing excellence in veterinary care, creating a better world for animals and for each other. The values of Fitzpatrick Referrals are integrity, innovation, care, education and community. Each and every member of the Fitzpatrick Referrals team live and breathe this mission, this vision and these values.

Noel remains the clinical chair and chief surgeon at Fitzpatrick Referrals operating on a daily basis. He is particularly experienced in minimally invasive arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery, spinal disc disease, limb deformities, joint replacement and limb salvage for severe trauma or cancer. He is totally committed to a holistic approach, believing that a triumvirate of good clinical judgement and diagnostics, optimal medical and surgical intervention and superlative rehabilitation, will result in better outcomes for all orthopaedic and neurologic patients. Fitzpatrick Referrals is built around this ethos with the most comfortable wards with a “no bar” policy, daylight and radio/TV and a countryside location allowing patients in recuperation to get some fresh air and get some mental stimulation from the great outdoors. The rehabilitation centre at Fitzpatrick Referrals has recently been expanded as the Fitzpatrick Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Centre defining the facility as an epicentre of excellence for the treatment of working and sporting dogs as well as dogs with arthritis, neurological disability and other mobility disorders.

Noel believes that the psychological wellbeing of patients is as important as their physiological wellbeing and that there is no point putting animals through surgery if we don’t have a reasonable chance of providing pain free quality of life in a reasonable timeframe. He also believes that people ‘don’t care what you know until they know that you care’, and he takes special pride in choosing his work colleagues for their willingness to open their hearts to the unassailable truth that the veterinary profession are the guardian angels of the unconditional love that exists between an animal and the guardian of that animal. Our ethical, moral and emotional core should be entirely vested in the compassion necessary to every day in every way care desperately that we are “doing the right thing” for every animal entrusted to our care and for every animal guardian who looks us in the eye and trusts us to look after their friend.

Noel’s television series 'Bionic Vet' aired on BBC One, and was broadcast internationally in 2010-2011. In 2014 he embarks on a new TV series with Channel 4 examining the emotional journey of animals and their guardians through severely debilitating conditions. The series will look at the importance of animals within families in Great Britain in 2014 and how vital the bond of unconditional love is for these animals and for these families. Veterinary science has advanced such that we can offer the same treatment options to animals than we can for humans and the response time for severe injuries and access to life-changing technologies is often better for animals than it is for humans. Noel explores in this program our huge responsibility to look after our animal friends and the moral and ethical issues that need to be considered daily when lives of animal family members hang in the balance. He firmly believes that the essence of unconditional love shared between a pet and their guardian represents the very best of the human condition and he hopes that the new program will serve as a statement for our broader responsibility to all animals on the planet. Noel dedicates his life to exploring “all of the options for all of the animals all of the time” and he hopes for a world more sensitive to the needs of animals who are sentient, who have feelings, and who have needs, that humans alone can either chose to embrace or ignore. We ignore them at our peril in his view.

Noel has shown an unprecedented commitment to academic research from private veterinary practice, having been an author on dozens of peer-reviewed papers in the past seven years. His research has been diverse. He has established evidence for surgical techniques and implants as well as elucidation of disease epidemiology. Landmark papers include the publication of a treatment algorithm for addressing elbow dysplasia and reporting the outcomes and complication rates in a series of over 1000 consecutive tibial plateau levelling osteotomies. He has devised, tested and implemented more than twenty new procedures and implant systems in the past decade. These include new joint resurfacing and replacement technologies, techniques for growth deformity correction, limb amputation endo- and exo-prosthetics for limb salvage, metallic-tendon in-growth and fracture repair systems and implants for spinal fusion and disc replacement.

Noel is director of Fitzbionics, a company created to conceive, design, develop, manufacture, test and implement new implants for the alleviation of pain and suffering in animals. Implants are custom made by a group of dedicated researchers and bio-engineers for specific patients in desperate need of a solution that doesn’t exist elsewhere. A number of Fitzbionics technologies have featured not just in respected veterinary journals but also on news stations worldwide and even in Time magazine. Recently Noel received The RSPCA/Daily Mirror Animal Hero Award for Innovation on behalf of Fitzpatrick Referrals for the implementation of life-saving new technologies in dogs and cats.

Noel has delivered more than 500 lectures in the UK, Europe and around the globe for more than a decade, including being a keynote speaker at both human and veterinary congresses.  He has won many awards including the Mark S Bloomberg and Simon Awards for teaching and for contribution to veterinary surgery. He has sponsored and inspired more than forty fellowships, internships, residencies and PhDs in Europe and the USA, leading to landmark publications and embracing the marriage of high-volume high-quality clinical veterinary practice with evidence-based medicine and compassionate care, with the aim of giving all animal guardians access to all options for their animal friend. His most recent hub of co-operation is with The Ohio State University where two residents, a fellow and a PhD student, all sponsored by Fitzpatrick Referrals, are contributing to research on joint disease, limb prostheses and spinal implants. The Fitzpatrick Education Academy has been set up to facilitate dissemination of training and learning in all aspects of veterinary surgery, re-defining veterinary education with a new paradigm of dynamic, innovative and practical learner-driven platforms.

Noel is an Assistant Professor at the University Of Florida School Of Veterinary Medicine and has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey integrating vet biosciences and engineering for three years. Recently he has become the foundation Professor of Orthopaedics for the new Veterinary School of The University of Surrey and he has received a Doctorate from The University of Surrey for his contribution to medical science. He has been instrumental as a founder member of the UK’s newest veterinary School, bringing his passion for One Medicine to the fore in designing and establishing a platform for cross-pollination of ideas and philosophies between veterinary and human medicine.

The concept of ‘One Medicine’ is at the heart of Noel’s mission and the cornerstone of The Fitzpatrick Education Foundation: One Life, One Medicine. The Foundation aims to fund scholarships, fellowships, internships, residencies and training programs that will facilitate cross-pollination of ideas between vets, human doctors, bioengineers and scientists of all kinds for the benefit of all living creatures. Noel is firmly of the belief that advances in any field of medicine should benefit all fields of medicine and he is determined that his legacy will be a group of highly trained practical clinical scientists that will change medicine for the better. He is adamant 

Noel has a world-recognised reputation for research into novel technology and techniques that through the cross-pollination of ideas can make massive differences to both animal and human medicine. All patients win, not one species at the expense of the other, but rather all advancing in symbiosis and synergy – saving a life helps save another life. Noel passionately believes that this journey to protect unconditional love for animals, to maintain pain-free healthy function and to look after all creatures on the planet is the most important message possible in a world often divorced from what really matters and from what is really necessary to allow us all to feel fulfilled, respected and loved. that One Medicine should not be about just doing something in animals which will be of benefit to humans or vice-versa, but rather that a platform for Real One Medicine in Clinical Practice involves building a framework which is open, honest and most of all, organised, among human and veterinary clinically collaborative colleagues. At present almost all drugs and implants used in humans have been tested on animals and Noel feels it’s simply ridiculous that diseased animals are not benefiting from this advance more quickly. Furthermore, it is totally unacceptable from either a human or veterinary medicine perspective that we do not learn more rapidly from each other regarding disease mechanisms and treatment modalities of all kinds because of vested interests, arrogance or ignorance.

Publications

Fitzpatrick, N., Sajik, D., Farrell, M. (2013) Feline pantarsal arthrodesis using pre-contoured dorsal plates applied according to the principles of percutaneousplate arthrodesis. Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology. IN PRESS

Fitzpatrick, N., Caron, A., Solano, M. A. (2013), Bi-Oblique Dynamic Proximal Ulnar Osteotomy in Dogs: Reconstructed Computed Tomographic Assessment of Radioulnar Congruence over 12 weeks. Veterinary Surgery. IN PRESS

Bertran, J., Farrell, M. and Fitzpatrick, N. (2013), Successful wound healing over exposed metal implants using vacuum-assisted wound closure in a dog. Journal of Small Animal Practice.IN PRESS

Farrell, M. and Fitzpatrick, N. (2013), Patellar ligament-bone autograft for reconstruction of a distal patellar ligament defect in a dog. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 54: 269–274

Burton, N. J., Fitzpatrick, N., Wallace, A. M. (2013), Evaluation of Cut Accuracy and Cis Cortical Damage for Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy Performed with and without Aid of a Novel Saw Guide: An In Vitro Study. Veterinary Surgery, 42: 28–37

Danielski, A., Bertran, J., Fitzpatrick, N. (2013) Management of degenerative lumbosacral disease in cats by dorsal laminectomy and lumbosacral stabilization. Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology. 26:69-7

Cuddy, L. C., Lewis, D. D., Kim, S. E., Conrad, B. P., Banks, S. A., Horodyski, M., Fitzpatrick, N., Pozzi, A. (2012), Ex vivo Contact Mechanics and Three-Dimensional Alignment of Normal Dog Elbows after Proximal Ulnar Rotational Osteotomy. Veterinary Surgery, 41: 905–914

Cuddy, L.C., Lewis, D.D., Kim, S.E., Conrad, B.P., Banks, S.A., Horodyski, M., Fitzpatrick, N., Pozzi, A. (2012) Contact mechanics and three-dimensional alignment of normal dog elbows. Veterinary Surgery. 41:818-2

Fitzpatrick, N., Yeadon, R., Smith, T. J., Johnson, J., Baltzer, W. I., Amils, R., Farrell, M., Frost, A. and Holsworth, I. G. (2012) Shoulder Arthrodesis in 14 Dogs. Veterinary Surgery, 41: 745–754

Fitzpatrick N, Yeadon R, Farrell M. (2013)  Surgical management of radial head luxation in a dog using an external skeletal traction device. Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology. 26:140-6.

Belch, A., Fitzpatrick, N. Farrell, M. (2012) Stifle Arthrodesis in two Cats. Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology, 5: 421-426.

Ash, K., Rosselli, D., Danielski, A., Farrell, M., Hamilton, M., Fitzpatrick, N. (2012) Correction of craniodorsal coxofemoral luxation in cats and small breed dogs using a modified Knowles technique with the braided polyblend TightRope™ systems. Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology, 1: 54-60.

Fitzpatrick, N., Yeadon, Y., van Terheijden, C., Smith T., (2012) Osteochondral autograft transfer for the treatment of osteochondritis dissecans of the medial femoral condyle in dogs. Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology, 1: 135-143.

Silva, H. R., Clements, D., Yeadon, R., Fitzpatrick, N., (2012) Linear-circular external skeletal fixation of intra-condylar humeral fractures with supracondylar comminution in four cats. Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology, 1: 61-66.

Fitzpatrick, N., Nikolaou, C., Yeadon, R. and Hamilton, M. (2012) String-Of-Pearls Locking Plate and Cerclage Wire Stabilization of Periprosthetic Femoral Fractures after Total Hip Replacement in Six Dogs. Veterinary Surgery, 41: 180–188.

Fitzpatrick, N., Bielecki, M., Yeadon, R. and Hamilton, M. (2012) Total Hip Replacement with Dorsal Acetabular Rim Augmentation Using the SOPTM Implant and Polymethylmethacrylate Cement in Seven Dogs with Dorsal Acetabular Rim Deficiency. Veterinary Surgery, 41: 168–179. 

Fitzpatrick, N., Pratola, L., Yeadon, R., Nikolaou, C., Hamilton, M. and Farrell, M. (2012) Total Hip Replacement after Failed Femoral Head and Neck Excision in Two Dogs and Two Cats. Veterinary Surgery, 41: 136–142

Fitzpatrick, N., Smith, T. J., Pendegrass, C. J., Yeadon, R., Ring, M., Goodship, A. E. and Blunn, G. W. (2011) Intraosseous Transcutaneous Amputation Prosthesis (ITAP) for Limb Salvage in 4 Dogs. Veterinary Surgery, 40: 909–925.

Fitzpatrick N, Nikolaou C, Farrell M, Perry K, Girling S, Smith T, Yeadon R (2011)  The double arch modified type 1b external skeletal fixator: technique description and functional outcome for surgical management of canine antebrachial growth deformities. Veterinary Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology, 5: 374-382.

Fitzpatrick, N., Riordan, J. O., Smith, T. J., Modlinska, J. H., Tucker, R. and Yeadon, R. (2011), Combined Intramedullary and External Skeletal Fixation of Metatarsal and Metacarpal Fractures in 12 Dogs and 19 Cats. Veterinary Surgery, 40: 1015–1022. 

Fitzpatrick, N., Van Terheijden, C., Yeadon, R. and Smith, T. J. (2010), Osteochondral Autograft Transfer for Treatment of Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Caudocentral Humeral Head in Dogs. Veterinary Surgery, 39: 925–935.

Perry K, Fitzpatrick N, Johnson J, Yeadon R (2010) Headless Self-Compressing Cannulated Screw Fixation for Treatment of Radial Carpal Bone Fracture/Fissure in dogs. Veterinary Comparative Orthopedics and Traumatology, 2: 94-101.

Fitzpatrick, N. and Solano, M. A. (2010), Predictive Variables for Complications after TPLO with Stifle Inspection by Arthrotomy in 1000 Consecutive Dogs. Veterinary Surgery, 39: 460–474

Fitzpatrick, N., Johnson, J., Hayashi, K., Girling, S. and Yeadon, R. (2010), Tibial Plateau Leveling and Medial Opening Crescentic Osteotomy for Treatment of Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture in Dogs with Tibia Vara. Veterinary Surgery, 39: 444–453

Burton NJ, Perry MJ, Fitzpatrick N, Owen MR: Comparison of bone mineral density in medial coronoid processes of dogs with and without medial coronoid process fragmentation. AJVR (71) 1: January 2010.

Fitzpatrick, N. and Yeadon, R. (2009), Working Algorithm for Treatment Decision Making for Developmental Disease of the Medial Compartment of the Elbow in Dogs. Veterinary Surgery, 38: 285–300.

Fitzpatrick, N., Yeadon, R., Smith, T. and Schulz, K. (2009), Techniques of Application and Initial Clinical Experience with Sliding Humeral Osteotomy for Treatment of Medial Compartment Disease of the Canine Elbow. Veterinary Surgery, 38: 261–278.

Smith TJ, Fitzpatrick N. (2009) Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy in an alpaca. Veterinary Comparative Orthopedics and Traumatology, 4: 332-335.

Fitzpatrick, N., Smith, T. J., Evans, R. B., O’Riordan, J. and Yeadon, R. (2009), Subtotal Coronoid Ostectomy for Treatment of Medial Coronoid Disease in 263 Dogs. Veterinary Surgery, 38: 233–245

Fitzpatrick, N., Smith, T. J., Evans, R. B. and Yeadon, R. (2009), Radiographic and Arthroscopic Findings in the Elbow Joints of 263 Dogs with Medial Coronoid Disease. Veterinary Surgery, 38: 213–223

Fitzpatrick, N., Yeadon, R. and Smith, T. J. (2009), Early Clinical Experience with Osteochondral Autograft Transfer for Treatment of Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Medial Humeral Condyle in Dogs. Veterinary Surgery, 38: 246–260

Smith, T. J., Fitzpatrick, N., Evans, R. B. and Pead, M. J. (2009), Measurement of Ulnar Subtrochlear Sclerosis Using a Percentage Scale in Labrador Retrievers with Minimal Radiographic Signs of Periarticular Osteophytosis. Veterinary Surgery, 38: 199–208

Fitzpatrick, N., Smith, T. J., O’Riordan, J. and Yeadon, R. (2009), Treatment of Incomplete Ossification of the Humeral Condyle with Autogenous Bone Grafting Techniques. Veterinary Surgery, 38: 173–184.

Smith TJ, Fitzpatrick N: Surgical removal of a microchip from a puppy's spinal canal. Veterinary Comparative Orthopedics and Traumatology 22(1): 63-65, 2009

Fitzpatrick N, Lewis D, Cross A: A biomechanical comparison of external skeletal fixation and plating for the stabilization of ilial osteotomies in dogs. Veterinary Comparative Orthopedics and Traumatology 21(4): 349-357, 2008

Clements DN, Fitzpatrick N, Carter SD, Day PJ: Cartilage gene expression correlates with radiographic severity of canine elbow osteoarthritis. Veterinary Journal 179(2):211-218, 2009

Kirkby KA, Lewis DD, Lafuente MP, Radasch RM, Fitzpatrick N, Farese JP, Wheeler JL, Hernandez JA: Management of humeral and femoral fractures in dogs and cats with linear- circular hybrid external skeletal fixators. Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 44(4): 180-197, 2008

Fitzpatrick N and Yeadon R: Algorithm for treatment of developmental diseases of the medial elbow in dogs. Irish Veterinary Journal 61(6): 398-401, 2008

Innes J, Pettitt R, Comerford E, Fitzpatrick N (2007) Total knee replacement for dogs (Letter to the editor). Veterinary Record 160(9): 312.

Danielson, K. C., Fitzpatrick, N., Muir, P.,Manley, P. A. (2006), Histomorphometry of Fragmented Medial Coronoid Process in Dogs: A Comparison of Affected and Normal Coronoid Processes. Veterinary Surgery, 35: 501–509.

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