Reference / Background / Information
The Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) in dogs can be compared to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament in people. It is very important to the proper function and stability in the knee (stifle). In most breeds, the tearing or rupture of the Cranial Cruciate Ligament will often result in partial or complete joint instability, pain, and lameness. CCL injuries are very common in many breeds of dogs, and typically occur in larger breeds and/or overweight dogs.
There are 2 primary surgical options in treating a torn or ruptured Cranial Cruciate Ligament:
- The torn ligament is removed and replaced with an artificial material (nylon, etc.) with a high 80-100lb. tensile strength. When replaced, the artificial ligament is actually woven around the knee (stifle) joing through gromets, and through holes that are drilled into the bone to give the knee the stability that it needs.
- TPLO Surgery (Tibeal Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) actually requires the cutting of the knee joint in order to re-angle the bone. The re-angling of the bone is done to releive pressure on the remaining knee ligaments. The cut away piece of bone is slightly rotated and reattached using a metal plate and screws.
From what I’ve read, recovery time for both surgeries is typically in the 3 month range, and recovery is always enhanced by keeping your dog confined as much as possible to let the healing take place.
I’ve added some helpful sites below, if you have any other experiences, recommendations, etc. please feel free to leave comments.
Here are some sites that I found helpful when researching prior to surgery: