Rupture of the crainial cruciate ligament is a result of too much stress/force being applied to a genetically weak ligament. Damage to the ligament itself, and the knee cartilage occurs allowing the knee to “slide” rather than “hinge”. Surgical repair is aimed at stabilizing the knee to prevent the sliding motion that causes lameness. Recovery time from surgery is 2-3 months with walking occurring at about 1-2 weeks.
Facts to Know:
- 81% of all cases stay lame to some degree if no surgery is done.
- 86% will improve (not completely heal) without surgery, but it takes 6-8 months and have 50% more pain than surgically repaired cases.
- 30% of all cases will rupture the other knee within 6-12 months
The estimate for this surgical procedure will include:
- Pre-anesthetic blood test
- IV catheter/fluids
- Heart/oxygen monitor
- Gas general anesthetic
- Extra-capsular Repair with 40-80# test
- Nylon Suture Pain control patch
- Post op pain injection
- Antibiotic injection
- Antibiotic to take home
- Hospitalization (2 days)
Dogs under 40#s—Almost all do very well with the Extracapsular Repair
- 92% satisfactory results within 3-4 months
- 10-20% pain remains and will need Metacam to manage
- Scar tissue builds over the nylon suture and this is what holds the knee long term
Dogs Over 40#s— Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)
- Dogs that are heavy and have a job to do (Active Hunting Breeds, Agility Competition Dogs, Etc.) need this type.
- 10-15% better outcome for the larger dogs due to the heavy muscle mass large dogs have.
- Referral to a board certified surgeon is available but the cost is higher.