Knee Surgery for Dogs

April18, 2021 | ​​​​​​​

When your dog tears its cruciate ligament, it is not a fun time for your pet. Unfortunately, most dog owners do not realize that their canine friend can rupture its cruciate. Cruciate ligament injury, however, is a common injury in dogs. 



What Causes the Injury? 


The cranial cruciate ligament in dogs is similar to the anterior cruciate ligament in humans. The word cruciate stems from the fact that two ligaments cross over each other in the middle of the knee. These are the caudal cruciate and cranial cruciate ligaments. Cruciate injury or rupture can happen as an acute or chronic injury.


An acute injury can happen during vigorous or strenuous activity, especially if your dog only engages in occasional vigorous activity. Unlike humans, however, dogs can suffer chronic cruciate injury from daily wear and tear on the knee joints. This is because of the angle of the knees of dogs, referred to as the tibial plateau angle.


When there is a tear or injury to CCL or cranial cruciate ligament, the shin bone slides forward. Dogs that suffer this type of injury experience a lot of pain and cannot walk normally. This instability subsequently damages the surrounding cartilage, which can lead to osteoarthritis. 


Repair Options for Torn CCL


Surgical stabilization of the dog’s knee joint is one of the most popular treatment options for a torn CCL. Most veterinarians recommend surgery as soon as possible to minimize the risk of irreversible or permanent joint damage as well as relieve pain. 


Veterinarians use different surgical techniques to correct CCL rupture or injury. Each surgical procedure comes with its benefits and potential risks. Therefore, it is essential to work with a skilled and experienced veterinarian. He will guide you through the decision-making process and recommend the best surgical option for your pup. Some of the common options include:



Cruciate Ligament Repair (CBLO) 


CBLO is a state-of-the-art surgical procedure based on the more common tibial plateau leveling osteotomy or TPLO. However, CBLO offers certain unique advantages over other cruciate ligament repair procedures. These include great passive stability, and the bone cut is outside of the knee joint. Also, it does not involve the growth plate; therefore, it is ideal for dogs of all ages, and there is reduced damage to the articular cartilage over time. CBLO offers a faster healing process and excellent long-term and short-term functional results.  Finally, a CBLO repair results in the weight-bearing area of the joint being positioned centrally rather than on the back edge of the tibia as seen with a TPLO repair.


Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA)


TTA surgery advances the tibial tuberosity which changes the patellar tendon relationship with the tibial plateau.  It does not account for the actual slope of the tibial plateau; therefore, it may not result in proper stabilization with dogs that have excessive tibial plateau angles.


Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)


This procedure also changes the angle on the knee’s weight-bearing surface. It provides stability while walking and reduces future inflammation of the knee joint.  The TPLO has been the gold standard repair for large breed dogs for decades until the CBLO was discovered.


To learn more about knee surgery for dogs, visit Central Animal Hospital at our offices in St Petersburg, Florida. You can also call (727) 521-3518 or (727) 906-9400 to book an appointment today. 

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