Crainal Cruciate Ligament Repair in Dogs and Cats (CCL)
The Cranial Cruciate Ligament (a.k.a. Anterior Cruciate Ligament in human anatomic terms) is a cable-
Patients are hospitalized the night of surgery and generally go home the next day with the operated leg bandaged, antibiotics and pain control med's. At four, eight and twelve days post-
Patients are usually weight-
Our failure rate for CCL repair is very low and has been associated primarily with inappropriate exertion early in the recovery phase. We have seen one case of premature failure of the stabilization suture that was repaired at no cost to the client. A certain percentage of patients, particularly those predisposed to CCL injury, will go on to injure the other hind limb within 12 to 24 months of the initial injury. Ongoing anti-
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Initial injury is very painful, regardless whether it is a sprain, partial tear or complete tear. Dogs and cats are usually non-
Once a suspicion of CCL injury is determined, or relaxation is needed for accurate assessment, the next step is to sedate the animal and radiograph the pelvis and hind limbs. Sedation eliminates the conscious muscular resistance and pain for cranial drawer assessment. Radiographic information helps to find incidental problems (such as bad hips, tipped tibial plateaus or advanced arthritis), determine the appropriate surgical procedures, estimate the prognosis for hind limb function after repair and the likelihood of future CCL injury to the unaffected leg.
There are many ways to attempt stabilization of the stifle in the face of a torn CCL, a situation that is due to weaknesses or failure associated with many procedures. Our approach incorporates multiple stabilization elements combined as appropriate as an Extra-
We have chosen this technique due to it’s nearly universal applicability, it’s minimal invasiveness and rapid recovery (as compared to techniques requiring cutting or repositioning bone), it’s low failure rate over years of service, it’s relatively low cost (also as compared to more invasive procedures), and our extensive experience in applying appropriate stabilization elements depending on the needs of the individual patient (as determined by our work-
The surgical procedure generally takes between 40 and 80 minutes depending on the specific damage and patient considerations. We choose an appropriate anesthetic protocol tailored to the patient, based on existing health concerns and pre-
relative to the femur). Injury to the CCL is one of the most common orthopedic injuries in dogs and cats, and can be caused in many ways. Some dogs have an anatomic defect that make them prone to CCL injury, and this commonly occurs when they are young. Other dogs can sustain CCL tear as a result of accidental trauma. Ongoing inflammation within the stifle joint for whatever reason can result in a “Sick CCL” which ultimately fails. This last category is particularly common in older, overweight dogs, dogs with other stifle defects, and some breeds like Cocker Spaniels. Partial tears inevitably progress to complete tears as the CCL has very poor healing capability. Small dogs (less than 10 lbs.) and cats can sometimes get along relatively well without repair, but for most other CCL injuries, surgical stabilization is necessary to re-
Here is an article that addresses the importance of nonsurgical management and prevention of Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease: “Solving Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease”