At our Jackson vet clinic, we discuss a common orthopedic injury called cruciate ligament ruptures in dogs. This injury may need surgery to fix it, and we'll discuss how TTA surgery can help repair the ligament.
Cruciate Ligament Ruptures in Dogs
The CCL is a tissue in a dog's knee that connects the lower leg to the upper leg and keeps it stable. If it tears, it can cause pain, immobility, and instability in the joint. It's like the ACL in humans.
Signs of a Cruciate Ligament Rupture in Dogs
In dogs, most cranial cruciate ligament tears are caused by aging and degeneration, leading to chronic onset ruptures that occur in about 80% of cases.
This typically affects dogs between five to seven years old. On the other hand, acute onset ruptures, usually seen in younger pups aged four or below, are caused by sudden injuries during their daily activities. Symptoms of a cranial cruciate ligament rupture in dogs may include:
- Crepitus (crackling noise of bones rubbing against each other)
- Decreased range of motion
- Hind leg extension while sitting
- Pain when the joint is touched
- Lack of motivation to exercise
- Restricted mobility
- Stiffness after exercising
- Thick/firm feel of the joint
- Weight shifted to one side of the body while standing
- "Pop" sound when walking
If you notice any of the listed symptoms above, contact your vet and schedule an examination for your pup.
Treating a Cruciate Rupture With TTA Surgery
If your dog tears their cruciate ligament, their knee loses stability and they might limp to avoid discomfort.
But TTA surgery can reshape the knee to allow the muscles to help stabilize it.
Your dog may feel more stable even though the ligament is still damaged.
However, this surgery carries risks and should only be done if it's the best option for your dog's injury.
Recovery After TTA Surgery
Healing from TTA surgery is generally rapid.
- 24 Hours Post Op: Approximately 50% of dogs that have undergone this surgical procedure will be walking by this time.
- At 2 weeks: Most of the dogs will be able to bear moderate to complete amounts of weight on the leg.
- By 10 weeks: The majority of the dogs will no longer be walking with a limp.
- At 4 months: Most dogs will be playing as usual with the only limitations being high-stress activities.
- Within 6 months: Most dogs will return to enjoying most activities as before injury and surgery.
Throughout recovery, pain management and rehabilitation therapy will be crucial to how well your dog heals. Your dog's vet will work with you both to ensure a complete recovery care plan for your dog before the TTA surgery.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.