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Cranial cruciate ligament injury

This is often known as ‘footballers knee’ in the world of human medicine, but unlike ourselves this very common injury results from gradual degeneration of the ligaments in a dogs knee rather than some form of an accident. We successfully treat many cases each year, predominantly with two main techniques.

Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA). 

This technique involves placing a titanium foam wedge in the bone and securing it with a small plate, screw and pin. By altering the angles of the joint a cruciate ligament is no longer required.

We use this technique for dogs weighing 15-45 kg and find most dogs walk on the operated leg quite soon after the surgery

We always advise clients rest their pet for several weeks following such an operation and provide some physiotherapy exercises to be performed during recovery to maximise the outcome.

A post operative X ray is recommended about 10 weeks after this operation.

Not every dog is suitable for this procedure, and we may recommend a Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy (TPLO) be performed at Oakwood Referrals.

Lateral Fabellar Suture

A lateral fabellar suture is a technique suited for treating small dogs with cruciate disease, especially those under 10 kg. The outcome for these patients is generally very good with this technique.

A nylon ligament (indicated here in green), is placed on the outside of the joint. This replicates the job of the damaged ligament and stabilizes the stifle joint (knee) whilst the surrounding tissues thicken up and eventually take over this job.

Patients must be rested for 6  to 8 weeks, but physiotherapy is required during this period to ensure a good recovery takes place.

Most small dogs make a full recovery with this technique.

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