Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease

The most common orthopedic problem in dogs is Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) disease or injury. One might think that since this type of problem is so common, veterinary medicine would have developed a clear understanding of its cause and the best way to treat it. Unfortunately, that has not yet happened. Most veterinarians agree that surgical correction is the best alternative. There are dozens of described surgical procedures for CCL correction, but there are no studies to show which procedures are best. On the other hand, veterinarians who promote more conservative, non-surgical therapy have even less scientific evidence that this is an efficacious procedure. If veterinarians cannot agree, what does a pet owner do?

At the Edmonton Centre for Veterinary Pain Management and Rehabilitation we look at each patient as an individual and consider all options for therapy. Dr. Scott has advanced surgical training in the most common forms of surgical repair and will work tirelessly with our Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner, Penny Radostits, to provide options for non-surgical therapies when appropriate.

Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)

The cranial cruciate ligament is the primary ligament inside the knee that is responsible for the stability of the joint. This ligament prevents the forward and backward sliding of the femur on the tibia bone. This action is referred to as drawer motion. When a dog has a partial tear or ruptures the cruciate ligament this drawer motion causes inflammation which results in the joint being very painful. If not stabilized, the joint can become dramatically arthritic over time.

The TPLO procedure neutralizes the effect of this drawer motion. A circular cut is made in the top of the tibia and the smaller portion of the bone is rotated to reduce the slope of the top. A special bone plate is used to hold the two bone segments together. Over time and rehabilitation the bone segments grow together and the joint becomes stable again. 

Dr. Todd Scott has been certified to perform this TPLO procedure since 2004. He has since completed this surgery on hundreds of his own clientele as well as patients that have been referred to him from several different veterinary practices throughout Alberta.

Cranial Cruciate Ligament Repairs

The cranial cruciate ligament is the primary stabilizing ligament in the knee. When a dog has a partial tear or complete rupture of the cruciate ligament, the femur slides against the tibia, causing inflammation and discomfort in the joint. If it is not stabilized, the joint will eventually become severely arthritic.

Extra-capsular suture stabilization

Extra-capsular suture stabilization replaces the function of the damaged cruciate ligament with a heavy suture that is positioned parallel to the ligament on the outside of the joint. The suture re-stabilizes the joint and restores normal range of motion.

Activity must be vigilantly restricted for approximately four months after this procedure, during which therapeutic range-of-motion exercises and rehabilitation must be performed to ensure a complete recovery.

Tibial plateau leveling osteotomy

The tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) procedure takes a different approach to re-stabilizing the joint. A concave cut is made in the top of the tibia, the freed portion of bone is rotated along the line of the curve to reduce the slope of the top, then a specialized bone plate is installed to hold the two segments together. With rehabilitation, the bone segments fuse and the joint becomes stable again.

Dr. Scott was certified in the TPLO procedure in 2004. He is an uncommonly gifted and skilful surgeon and has performed this operation on hundreds of his own clients as well as patients referred by other veterinary practices throughout Alberta, successfully restoring pain-free mobility to many happy dogs.

Website by Dreamweaver Webs Ltd.

Change view mode: