Petworks Veterinary Services

Cruciate Ligament Treatment

What is the Cruciate Ligament?

What does it mean when my dog has a torn Cruciate ligament?

The cranial cruciate (CCL) is one of the two bands that form an X shape in the knee. The two bands form the X shape bind two bones together in the knee. The two bands connect the femur (the thigh bone) to the tibia (the shin bone). You also have a similar ligament known as the Anterior Cruciate in each knee. And many of these symptoms and treatment are the same for humans.

There are several factors that may lead to a torn CCL. Some of the most common causes of a tear are:

  1. Aging, Which Causes Degeneration of the Ligament
  2. Obesity
  3. Poor Physical Health
  4. Genetics
  5. Breed

The CCL is of great importance. If your dog should happen to tear this ligament their knee will become unstable. The instability of the ligament will cause swelling, pain, and decreased motion. The injury to the CCL will eventually cause difficulty with normal activity due to pain and instability. Your dog may start to show signs of:

  1. Difficulty Standing
  2. Trouble Entering Car
  3. Decreased Activity Levels
  4. Limping
  5. Decreased Ability to Move Knee Joint in the Normal Range

How is this Injury Treated?

The best way to treat a torn CCL is surgery. Surgery is the only way to permanently control the instability and pain that goes along with a torn CCL.

There are two common types of surgery to choose from. This depends on the surgeon and facility. One technique provides stabilization using a heavy-duty suture placed across the knee joint known as an Extracapsular or Lateral suture. Another technique is to reshape the knee joint to allow the patient to have stability without the need for a CCL. The most common surgery using this technique is known as a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy or TPLO. Extra-Capsular suture stabilization is a popular technique performed by many veterinarians. The TPLO procedure requires specialized training and equipment for a veterinarian to perform it. You should discuss which surgical approach is best suited for your companion.

Who is Specialized to Perform the TPLO Surgery?

Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine / Mobile Veterinary Surgery

Dr. Andrea DeLuke, DVM Mobile Veterinary Surgeon is our MOVES™ Veterinary Surgery partner. Dr. DeLuke is available to perform advanced soft tissue and orthopedic surgeries at Petworks Veterinary Hospital. Dr. DeLuke earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Ross University in 2004 and later completed a small animal surgery residency at Mission MedVet in Mission, KS.

Dr. Andrea Deluke, DVM

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