Orthopedic Surgery

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Cranial Cruciate Ligament Repair
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. There are actually two cruciate ligaments inside the knee: the
cranial cruciate ligament and caudal cruciate ligament. They are called “cruciate”because they “cross” over each other inside
the middle of the knee.
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).
What options are there for repairing my dog’s torn CCL?
When the cranial cruciate ligament is torn, surgical stabilization of the knee joint is often required, especially in larger or
more active dogs. Surgery is generally recommended as quickly as possible to reduce permanent, irreversible joint damage
and relieve pain.
“Surgery” is generally recommended as quickly as possible to reduce permanent, irreversible joint
damage and relieve pain.
Several surgical techniques are currently used to correct CCL rupture. Each procedure has unique advantages and potential
drawbacks. We can guide you through the decision-making process and advise you on the best surgical
option for your pet.

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