Pet Vet serving Brookfield IL, La Grange IL, La Grange Park IL, Lyons IL, North Riverside IL, Riverside, IL

July 27, 2018

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Dog Torn ACL (Brookfield IL, La Grange, Lyons, Riverside)

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Dog Torn ACL (CCL) by Dr. Hosek, Merrick Animal Hospital

Hi, I’m Dr. Jim Hosek at Merrick Animal Hospital in Brookfield IL. I’m here today to talk about cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injuries in dogs. (Technically, CCL is correct term for dogs while ACL is the correct term for humans.) This is a very common orthopedic injury we see in dogs. It can happen during play, and it can even happen to older animals just from regular activity. The cruciate ligament helps keep the knee stable, and when that breaks the knee can slide from side to side.

Dog Torn ACL (CCL) repaired by TPLO & TTA are expensive

So what we try and do is stabilize that knee with surgery so the dog can get back to normal activities. There are several methods used to repair the cruciate ligament or to stabilize the knee. Two of them, one called the TPLO and TTA, are very invasive procedures that require an orthopedic surgeon. They are very expensive

Dog Torn ACL (CCL) repaired by Extracapsular Stabilization

At Merrick Animal Hospital we do what’s called an Extracapsular Stabilization which is a suture outside the joint. It’s a lot less expensive, usually less than half the price of the other procedures and can be done in a single day. The animals can go home the same day from the procedure. When we’re repairing the cruciate ligament, what we’re trying to do is recreate the suture in the place of the normal ligament with what’s called the Swivel Lock which is the method we use. We’ll drill a hole in the tibia which is the calf bone and back of the femur here. This hole in the tibia goes all the way through, and we pass what’s called the fiber tape suture through a titanium button to hold it in place. The suture is then fastened with what’s called a Swivel Lock which is a little tube that goes into the bone with threads that locks that suture in place so we can get that suture nice and tight without having to put any knots in it that could potentially slip or cause problems. Then that keeps the knee from sliding out of place and gets us a nice, stable knee. Eventually scar tissue forms along that suture which gives the knee the ultimate stability from long term use.

Dog Torn ACL (CCL) recovery time range.

Typical recovery time for dogs having this surgery is anywhere from two weeks to two months. We usually like to keep their activity limited for about three months so that we minimize any chance of that suture breaking before they’ve had a chance to heal completely.

Dog Torn ACL repair includes blood work & pain management

As with all surgeries here at Merrick Animal Hospital we customize the procedure to the patient. We’ll do a pre-anesthetic blood panel to make sure that they’re okay for anesthesia. We’ll adapt our anesthesia protocol to the animal’s needs. We monitor the animals during anesthesia, monitoring their blood pressure, EKG, oxygen levels, blood temperature, body temperature. And then we do very comprehensive pain management. We’ll do pain management before, during, with local anesthetic, and after surgery. And the patients usually go home with pain medications after surgery.

Dog Torn ACL may be helped by joint supplements.

Another thing I like to do with my patients that have had knee injuries is joint supplements. Those can help them recover quicker, but can also help protect their other joints from injuries. About 50% of the dogs that injure one cruciate ligament will injure the other ligament within one year. So using joint supplements, such as glucosamine chondroitin and fish oil can be very helpful in preventing those problems. If your pet has had a cruciate injury or if you have any questions about the procedure, please give us a call here at Merrick Animal Hospital. Thanks for watching this video.

YouTube Link

Youtube Title: Dog Torn ACL Surgery (Brookfield IL 60513, La Grange, Lyons, Riverside, La Grange Park, N Riverside)

Merrick Animal Hospitals repairs torn ACL in dogs by Extracapsular Stabilization Procedure which is a suture outside the joint. This procedure is usually less than is half the price of the very invasive and expensive TPLO and TTA procedures.


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