Sudden lameness in a hind leg may indicate a torn or ruptured cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). This injury is similar to an ACL injury in humans. Left untreated, a CCL injury results in an unstable knee joint, which in turn leads to progressive painful degenerative disease. We are pleased to offer several surgical treatment options that aim to provide stability to the joint and restore range of motion for your pet. Dr. Jeff Schumann has extensive training in each of these procedures and we encourage you to book a consultation appointment with him if you suspect your pet has an injured CCL.
After a physical exam confirming a CCL injury, your pet will likely have an x-ray for Dr. Schumann to assess the extent of damage and provide estimates for surgical treatment.
Whichever surgical intervention you decide, it is extremely important to follow all exercise restrictions as your pet heals. Post surgical therapy laser and underwater treadmill rehab is highly recommended to help your pet recover faster and return to normal function.
Lateral Suture Technique - A lateral suture “replaces” the injured ligament using a strong material Dyneema to create a prosthetic ligament outside the joint on the lateral side. The recovery period and activity restrictions for this procedure are approximately 2 months. Previously due to the reliance on the nylon suture holding until the site fully heals, the lateral suture procedure was considered the CCL surgical option most vulnerable to failure. Now with the current knowledge on isometric points located within the stifle or knee this surgery has become a much better option than in the past for larger dogs.
TTA2 - Tibial Tuberosity Advancement. The TTA2 surgery is typically the preferred method for a CCL tear in larger breed dogs offers a good prognosis for decreased progression of osteoarthritis. Recovery time with limited activity is 8-10 weeks, though most pets are fully weight-bearing 2 weeks after surgery. The tibial cut for this procedure is made in a non-weight bearing area which allows the implants to be thinner, lighter and stronger than the bone plates used in the TPLO surgery. The titanium implants are designed to remain in place permanently.
If you suspect your pet may have a torn Cranial Cruciate Ligament. Please call our office and make an appointment with Dr. Schumann. He will be happy to go over your options more specifically with you.