Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
Michael P Kowaleski

Clinical Orthopedics

Orthopedic Surgery

As a member of the Foster Hospital for Small Animals' surgical team,Dr. Michael Kowaleski specializes in joint replacement, arthroscopy, stifle (knee) surgery, corrective osteotomy and fracture treatments. Although his most common patients are dogs and cats, he occasionally operates on exotic animals and, most recently, camelids such as alpacas. He serves as the course director for Principles of Surgery for second-year veterinary students and for an orthopedic elective in the third year, teaches small animal surgery for third-year students and serves as a facilitator for the school's Problem Based Learning course for first year students.

Dr. Kowaleski is a home-grown talent from a family of veterinarians. He grew up in nearby Sterling, Massachusetts and his father and sister are both veterinarians. He attended the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine for his DVM studies and completed the dual residency in surgery at Tufts and Angell Animal Medical CenterThe practice of medicine has always intrigued me, Dr. Kowaleski says. I have always been adept at taking things apart and repairing them; thus surgery is a very good fit for me.

Prior to joining the faculty at the Cummings School, Dr. Kowaleski was an assistant professor, then associate professor, of orthopedic surgery at The Ohio State University. He has enjoyed the demanding caseload here, as well as the opportunity to work on unique cases. Recently, he teamed up with the surgical team at the school's Hospital for Large Animals to treat an alpaca with patellar luxation (looseness in the kneecap). In 2008, Dr. Kowaleski also adapted human instrumentation and implants to fix a middle-aged cocker spaniel with a poorly healing fracture in its elbow.

Dr. Kowaleski also enjoys participating in the school's clinical and basic science research projects (please see Dr.Kowaleski's academic profile for the latest research publications) and travels nationally and internationally to present on the latest surgical techniques.

Dr. Kowaleski and his wife, Lisa, have two young sons and enjoy boating, sailing, fishing, skiing and rock climbing.


  • Surgical Residency - Tufts University/Angell Memorial Animal Hospital - 1999-2002
  • DVM - Tufts University - 1993
  • BS - University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Summa Cum Laude) - 1989

Board Certification

  • Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons
  1. Kunkel KA, Suber JT, Gerard PD, Kowaleski MP. Effect of pilot hole diameter and tapping on insertion torque and axial pullout strength of 4.0-mm cancellous bone screws. Am J Vet Res. 2011 Dec;72(12):1660-5.
  2. Weh JL, Kowaleski MP, Boudrieau RJ. Combination tibial plateau leveling osteotomy and transverse corrective osteotomy of the proximal tibia for the treatment of complex tibial deformities in 12 dogs. Vet Surg. 2011 Aug;40(6):670-86.
  3. Aktay SA, Kowaleski MP. Analysis of suture anchor eyelet position on suture failure load. Vet Surg. 2011 Jun;40(4):418-22.
  4. Hoffmann DE, Kowaleski MP, Johnson KA, Evans RB, Boudrieau RJ. Ex vivo biomechanical evaluation of the canine cranial cruciate ligament-deficient stifle with varying angles of stifle joint flexion and axial loads after tibial tuberosity advancement. Vet Surg. 2011 Apr;40(3):311-20.
  5. Blake CA, Boudrieau RJ, Torrance BS, Tacvorian EK, Cabassu JB, Gaudette GR, Kowaleski MP. Single cycle to failure in bending of three standard and five locking plates and plate constructs. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol.2011;24(6):408-17.
  6. Cabassu JB, Kowaleski MP, Shorinko JK, Blake CA, Gaudette GR, Boudrieau RJ. Single cycle to failure in torsion of three standard and five locking plate constructs. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2011;24(6):418-25.
  7. Yeadon R, Fitzpatrick N, Kowaleski MP. Tibial tuberosity transposition-advancement for treatment of medial patellar luxation and concomitant cranial cruciate ligament disease in the dog. Surgical technique, radiographic and clinical outcomes. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2011;24(1):18-26.
  8. Apelt D, Pozzi A, Marcellin-Little DJ, Kowaleski MP. Effect of cranial tibial closing wedge angle on tibial subluxation: An ex vivo study. Vet Surg. 2010 Jun;39(4):454-9.
  9. Samii VF, Dyce J, Pozzi A, Drost WT, Mattoon JS, Green EM, Kowaleski MP, and Lehman AM: Computed Tomographic Arthrography of the Stifle for Detection of Cranial and Caudal Cruciate Ligament and Meniscal Tears in Dogs. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2009; 50(2):144-150.
  10. Kloc PA, Kowaleski MP, Litsky AS, Brown NO, and Johnson KA: Biomechanical Comparison of Two Alternative Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy Plates Against the Original Standard in an Axially Loaded Gap Model: an In Vitro Study. Vet Surg 2009; 38(1):40-48.
  11. Kim SE, Pozzi A, Kowaleski MP, and Lewis, DD: Tibial Osteotomies for Cranial Cruciate Ligament Insufficiency in Dogs. Vet Surg 2008; 37(2):111-125.

General Research Interests

  • Clinical orthopedics, with a focus on total joint replacement
  • Arthroscopy
  • Fracture healing
  • Implant design
  • Biomechanics and the role of osteotomy in the treatment of joint disease

Selected Research Projects

  • Biomechanical evaluation of TPLO and TTA
  • Initial stability of BFX™ cementless total hip replacment
  • Radiological assessment of limb alignment
  • Experimental evaluation of locking plate fixation


  • Small Animal Medicine & Surgery
  • Principles of Surgery - Course Director
  • Spay Lab
  • Orthopedic Surgery - Clinical Rotation
  • Orthopedic Elective

Research Interests by Area

Spontaneous Animal Disease Models
  • Osteoarthritis of the elbow, stifle and hip, cruciate ligament repair in dogs, total hip replacement, platelet-rich plasma applications, developmental orthopedic disease

Research Interests by Organ System and Disease

Bone and Tissue Repair and Regeneration
  • Biomechanics and the role of osteotomy in the treatment of joint disease, novel therapies for osteoarthritis. Orthopedic surgery research; spontaneous animal disease models for evaluating response to osteoarthritis treatments, fracture repair and implants, implant design, strength and application

Major Specialized Equipment

  • Instron Model 8511 servohydraulic materials testing device
  • Toshiba Acquilion 16 slice CT
  • Siemens Symphony 1.5 Tesla MRI
  • Digital high-resolution gamma camera (IS2 NuCamma Enhanced Technologies, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX)
  • AMTI dual platform force plate gait analysis system
  • Arthroscopy
  • Comprehensive surgical facilities
  • Media center
  • Clinical pathology and pathology facilities complement the environment

House Officer Training

  • Rotating Internship
  • ACVS Resident
  • ECVS Resident