Knee Injury And Rehabilitation

July 1, 2021

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We commonly see knee injuries in our dogs and one of the most common causes is the rupture of the cranial crucial ligament ‘CCL’ (you may have heard this called an ACL in people). A CCL is a cross ligament within the knee that helps to stabilise the joint when your pet walks.

Some dogs will be predisposed to this injury because of their conformation and some will injure the ligament traumatically. Either way we have some great repair options available. For smaller dogs we offer a Lateral Fabella Tie which includes placing a permanent tie across the joint to recreate the function of the ligament. In medium to large breed dogs we offer a specialised procedure called an Ossability Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA). This procedure realigns the tension of the patellar tendon to recreate stability in the joint and we have seen excellent results for our patients.

With both operations, we assess your pet’s meniscus which is an extra layer of cushioning within the joint that can cause significant discomfort if it is injured and not removed. During the surgical procedure, an epidural is administered once your pet is anaesthetised to ensure that your pet has a smooth anaesthetic and experiences minimal discomfort post-operatively. We also use local anaesthetic around the incision and within the joint space to block pain receptors. These procedures are available at both our Taupo and Rotorua clinics.  Please note that a TTA may not be appropriate for every pet and one of our vets will be able to discuss the best repair option for your fur baby.

Beowulf Lattey, the gorgeous black German Shepherd had a TTA procedure done and is doing amazingly well following his surgery. His before and after surgery xrays are shown below. Beowulf’s recovery has been supported by senior vet nurse Natalie in our Taupo clinic who offers rehabilitation support. This included comprehensive ice-packing, heat-packing and walking plans as well as several 30 minute rehab sessions in the clinic to support his recovery. He is now happily back to his normal self, running and playing with his furry brothers.

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