At our Dallas animal hospital our vets see cruciate ligament ruptures in dogs are far more often than we would like. We are here to discuss TTA surgery as a treatment option for dogs.
What Happens When My Dog Sustains a Cruciate Ligament Rupture?
The CCL is a connective tissue in a dog's knee that connects and stabilizes the lower leg to the upper leg. It joins a dog’s tibia to the femur above that when torn, results in partial or complete joint instability, pain, and immobility. CCL ruptures are the result of a torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in a dog's stifle (knee), which is equivalent to the ACL in humans.
What Are The Symptoms of a Cruciate Ligament Rupture in Dogs?
When it comes to CCL tears in dogs, 80% of cases are the result of chronic onset ruptures due to degeneration typically from the aging process. This type of rupture is seen most commonly in dogs ages five to seven.
Acute onset ruptures are most commonly seen in pups four years or younger. These tears are caused by injuries a dog will sustain just running around living their daily lives.
Symptoms of a cranial cruciate ligament rupture may include:
- Crepitus (crackling noise of bones rubbing against each other)
- Decreased range of motion
- Hind leg extension while sitting
- Pain when the joint is touched
- Lack of motivation to exercise
- Restricted mobility
- Stiffness after exercising
- Thick/firm feel of the joint
- Weight shifted to one side of the body while standing
- "Pop" sound when walking
If you notice any of the listed symptoms above, contact your vet and schedule an examination for your pup. At North Tollway Pet Hospital we perform orthopedic surgery for dogs, talk to our vets today to discuss your pup's options.
What is TTA Surgery and how does it work?
If your dog sustains a rupture to their cruciate ligament, their knee will lose the ability to perform the way it's supposed to because it will no longer have the necessary stability. This instability will result in the shin bone moving forward in such a way that your dog's leg will feel as if it's going to lock in place. This will likely cause your dog to limp.
When a dog undergoes TTA surgery it changes the shape of the knee allowing the muscles to help with the stabilization of the knee itself while in use. Your dog will then feel as though the knee has been stabilized even though the ligament itself is still technically damaged.
There is a risk of complication with a surgical procedure of this magnitude and as such it will only be performed when it is the best option for the cruciate injury that your dog has sustained.
Recovery After TTA Surgery For Cruciate Injuries in DogsHealing from TTA surgery is generally rapid.
- 24 Hours Post Op: Approximately 50% of dogs that have undergone this surgical procedure will be walking by this time.
- At 2 weeks: Most of the dogs will be able to bear moderate to complete amounts of weight on the leg.
- By 10 weeks: The majority of the dogs will no longer be walking with a limp.
- At 4 months: Most dogs will be playing as usual with the only limitations being high-stress activities.
- Within 6 months: Most dogs will be back to enjoying most activities as they had been prior to injury and surgery.
During the entire recovery process, pain management will be given as well as a physical therapy routine will need to be strictly enforced to allow your dog to heal. Your dog's veterinary surgeon will work closely with you to ensure that the recovery process is progressing as it should so your dog can get back to playing and running like they used to.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.