ACL Repair

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  • May 15, 2015
ACL Page Pic

One of the most common injuries to the knee of dogs is tearing of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). This ligament is similar to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in humans. When the CCL is torn or injured, the shin bone (tibia) slides forward with respect to the thigh bone (femur), which is known as a positive drawer sign. Most dogs with this injury cannot walk normally and experience pain. The resulting instability damages the cartilage and surrounding bones and leads to osteoarthritis (OA). Click here to learn more about how this ligament can become damaged.

Dr. Steen performs two different types of repairs for cruciate injuries; extracapsular lateral suture (ECLS) stabilization in small dogs and in large dogs by the TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement) technique. On average, Dr. Steen performs over 120 cruciate repairs per year with approximately 80% of those repairs utilizing the TTA technique. On the rare occasion a TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) repair is necessary, we are able to have Dr. Brent Reimer of Iowa Veterinary Referral Center come in and perform the procedure in our hospital.

Click here to view a handout on extracapsular lateral suture (ECLS) stabilization and click here to learn more about TTA.

Regardless of which surgery is performed, it will be necessary for you to restrict your pet’s activity for approximately 8-12 weeks. We understand this is difficult, but it is paramount to a successful outcome.

When you meet with Dr. Steen, he will provide details on the level of restriction necessary for your pet. You will be able to leash walk your pet during the recovery process.

Dr. Steen will meet with you when your pet goes home and will provide written instructions for the rehab process. For those wishing to “go the extra mile” with rehabbing your pet, a more extensive protocol is available to download for free from Top Dog Animal Health and Rehabilitation by clicking here.