Orthopedic surgeon studies cat to treat dysplasia, solves paleontological debate

Shayna Korol -   Print  | Email

Orthopedic surgeon Robert Klapper, MD, is the co-director of the joint replacement program at Los Angeles-based Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He is also working with paleontologists at the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum in Los Angeles to study the pelvis and femurs of an extinct saber-toothed cat, Newswise reports.

Dr. Klapper uses Cedars-Sinai's advanced CT scan machine to examine the ancient feline's bones. His analysis of a CT scan demonstrated that the cat was born with dysplasia, indicating that the cat had been limping since birth and survived to adulthood only because it lived with a pack.


His findings shed light on the long-debated question in paleontology of whether saber-toothed cats hunted alone or in packs. Dr. Klapper will use the cat's CT scans to create a prosthetic hip joint that will aid him in treating dysplasia in the tallest human patients.


La Brea Tar Pits and Museum officials will continue to collaborate with Dr. Klapper and are developing an exhibit based on his findings.


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