One of the most common injuries to a dog’s knee is the rupture or tear of the anterior cruciate ligament. Rupture or partial tear of this ligament causes a mechanical instability of the knee joint, which in turn will cause the dog pain when using the leg. Because it is a mechanical problem, oral medications commonly provide only limited relief. With persistent lameness, the dog will experience atrophy of the thigh muscles, and further weakening of the leg. In additional, instability of the joint increases the likelihood of injury to the meniscus.
Repairing a Ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament
Reestablishing the stability of the joint usually provides very significant relief to the pet, with return of most, or all of the function of the leg. This is done with surgical intervention. There are three techniques commonly used: the extra capsular technique, the TPLO, and the TTA. All of these techniques work well at reestablishing joint stability. However, at Keizer Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Michael Foland prefers the extra capsular technique, using Anthrex TightRope for larger breeds, and Anthrex Fiberwire for smaller breeds. Dr. Foland chooses the TightRope and Fiberwire because they have very high tensile strength when compared to the monofilament, which has historically been used for extra capsular repair. Recovery time for the extra capsular repair technique is also usually faster than for the TPLO and TTA. In addition, the extra capsular technique tends to be less expensive.
Dr. Michael Foland has had an interest in orthopedic diagnostics and surgery since attending veterinary school at Iowa State in 1977. Since graduation he has taken numerous courses and labs on orthopedic surgery, beginning with the completion of the Advanced Course on Internal Fixation of Fractures, offered at the Ohio State University in 1984. He has also completed courses with the Association for Veterinary Orthopedic Research and Education, and numerous other labs and lectures on a diverse number of topics such as: arthroscopy, joint stabilization, pelvic stabilization, external fixation, rehabilitative medicine, principles of bone plating, and much more. Dr. Foland continues to have a keen interest in orthopedics and lameness, and enjoys furthering his education in these areas.