We’ve had another busy day in surgery. The main operation today was a tibial tuberosity advancement which is used to treat dogs that have damaged their cruciate ligaments in the knee joint. Cruciate disease is very common in many breeds of dogs (and we do occasionally see cats with it too!). Some of the breeds that are most prone include Labradors, Rottweilers, West Highland White Terriers, although almost any dog can be affected.
Often there is an injury that seems to cause a sudden onset lameness, however, we know through research that there is often a period of ‘wear and tear’ to this structure before final failure. If the ligament breaks the joint becomes inflammed and painful, and because it is suddenly unstable most dogs are unable to bear weight properly on the leg.
We will administer pain relief and book x-rays to confirm that this is the injury. Some cases can be managed medically, but most often surgery is required. The two main ways to correct the injury are either to replace the ligament with an artificial device such as a lateral suture or to perform a procedure that biomechanically changes the joint so that it becomes more stable. Each case is assessed and a decision made as to the most appropriate treatment.
With these cases we generally expect the animals to be back to normal exercise within 3-4 months! If your pet has had any injury or you are looking for advice then feel free to contact the clinic.