More In This Article
The patient was clearly in pain. Doctors were not sure how Johnny, a middle-aged male, had hurt his left knee, but they wanted to assess the damage. So they reached for an arthroscope, a video camera on a flexible, pencil-thin tube, and inserted it into the joint through a small incision.
Although arthroscopic surgery is fairly routine for diagnosing and treating knee injuries, Johnny’s procedure was anything but. That’s because Johnny is a monkey: an 11-year-old mandrill at the Pittsburgh Zoo. “There’s no precedent,” says Freddie Fu of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, the surgeon who performed the operation in June. “I think this is maybe the first time anyone has ever ’scoped a monkey knee.”
This article was originally published with the title Saving Troubled Knees.