It’s extremely common for dogs, especially older and overweight dogs, to rupture their cranial cruciate ligaments. This ligament is found in the knee and its human equivalent is the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. When a dog ruptures this ligament, their knee joint becomes unstable and they can no longer walk on the affected limb. Because CCL tears cause such significant mobility issues for pets, it’s important to get these injuries treated as quickly as possible.

At Santa Clarita Animal Hospital, we have an experienced veterinarian who can perform orthopedic surgeries like cranial cruciate ligament repairs. The three methods used for CCL repairs in dogs are:

  • Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)
  • Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA)
  • Extracapsular (Lateral Suture) Repair

Dr. Burkhartsmeyer has years of experience in all three of these procedures, and he will consult with you about the preferred method for your pet. The best surgical option for your dog will depend on the severity of the injury and the size and age of your dog.

Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)

The Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) method of CCL repair is like the TTA procedure (see below) in that the bones of the knee joint are rearranged to eliminate the need for the cranial cruciate ligament. This procedure is thought to be the strongest repair however it is also the more expensive due to the cost of the implant.

Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA)

The Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA) method of CCL repair is also a good option. During the procedure, the tibia is repositioned, so the cranial cruciate ligament is no longer needed to stabilize the knee. A steel cage is used to keep the bone in its new position. Though not as strong as the TPLO, this procedure can often be somewhat less costly

Extracapsular (Lateral Suture) Repair

Extracapsular, or lateral suture, repair is a procedure that occurs outside the knee joint. In this surgery, the ligament and any damaged cartilage are removed from the knee, and a strong suture is used to replace the cranial cruciate ligament. This keeps the bones from shearing against each other. This method of CCL repair tends to be best for dogs under 40 pounds, and it’s often the least expensive procedure of the three. However, it is the most prone to failure. If the knee is not allowed to fully heal, the suture can rupture, requiring another surgery.

To schedule a consultation for cranial cruciate ligament repair, call Santa Clarita Animal Hospital at 661-259-7387.