How is a torn cruciate ligament treated?
Correction of this problem requires surgery.
There are TWO main techniques we can choose from to stabilize the knee joint:
1. Techniques to artificially replace the action of the cruciate ligament
A thick nylon thread is placed to counteract the “tibial thrust” which is causing the pain and instability in the joint. We then apply sutures in the soft tissues around the joint to keep the joint tight and stable. This technique is best suited to animals less than 20kgs in weight.
2. Techniques involving realigning the knee to prevent tibial thrust
In recent years several new techniques have been created and modified which use the laws of biomechanics to prevent tibial trust in the CCL deficient knee.
At the Whitehorse Vet we perform a surgery, previously only offered by orthopedic surgeons, called the Triple Tibial Osteotomy (TTO). This surgery involves 3 cuts in the tibia allowing realignment of the pieces that are then stabilized in the new anatomical position using a stainless steal plate and screws. This very technical surgery alters the forces within the knee and produces excellent results in CCL deficient dogs. Plate and screw sizes currently limit its use to dogs over 20kgs, but the results have been outstanding with much quicker return to good function and much better long-term function due to a significant reduction in the development of degenerative joint disease.
How will I know which option is best for my dog?
Each individual patient needs to be assessed by the vet as in some cases one surgery is a far better option than the other, yet in others it is the reverse.
If your dog has been diagnosed with cruciate ligament disease by another veterinary hospital, we are happy to offer second opinion consultations with our experienced vets, even if just to confirm the diagnosis.
Who will be performing the surgery?
Orthopaedic surgery at Whitehorse Veterinary Hospital are performed by brothers Dr Shaun Wynne BVSc (hons) MANZCVS (Surgery) and Dr Rodney Wynne BVSc (hons).
Dr Rod and Dr Shaun have over 25 years experience each as practicing veterinarians, and performed thousands of cruciate ligament repair surgeries. As an ASAVA accredited hospital of excellence, we always offer best practice for our patients, and perform orthopedic surgeries in our dedicated sterile theatre using strict aseptic technique.
At Whitehorse Veterinary Hospital we pride ourselves in not only the number of orthopedic surgeries we perform, including as referrals from other veterinary hospitals, but in the outcomes. Most owners tell us that once their pet has fully recovered from the procedure, they have been ‘fully functioning’, ‘good as new’, and ‘like a puppy again’.