Orthopedic Surgery

Cranial Cruciate Ligament

Learn more about cranial cruciate ligament injuries below.

Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injuries

Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Injury is the most common cause of rear limb lameness in dogs. It is similar to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears associated with humans. CCL injuries can result in stifle (knee) instability and may require surgical stabilization for your pet to return to a normal pain-free activity level.

There are several veterinary procedures that can help stabilize CCL deficient stifles in dogs. Depending on your pet’s needs, the right form of treatment can vary, so there is no definitive solution. The surgeons at VVS will factor in characteristics such as age, breed, weight, concurrent medical conditions, activity level, lifestyle, and anatomic variations of your pet’s knee in order to prescribe a surgical and rehabilitative protocol suited for your pet to achieve the best possible outcome. The Surgeons at VVS have performed thousands of cruciate ligament stabilization procedures and have a high level of experience and confidence in the various techniques, including Tibial Plateau leveling Osteotomy (TPLO); Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA); extracapsular stabilization; and the tight rope procedure.

Post-Operative Recovery and Prognosis
Dogs generally return to a normal functioning condition within 12 weeks following the surgical repair. We will continuously monitor your pet’s recovery on a 2, 8, and 12-week schedule post-operatively. There are no additional charges for recheck appointments or follow-up radiographs (x-rays) to ensure your pet is recovering normally and to uphold your satisfaction.

It is reported that dogs that experience a CCL injury in one stifle have a 50% chance of tearing the CCL ligament in their other knee. Many patients evaluated for a CCL injury will likely have some form of CCL insufficiency (partial or complete) in the associated knee. The surgeons at VVS have comprehensive expertise with the treatment of bilateral (both sides) CCL injuries. With some techniques and specific patients, it is possible to perform the surgeries on both limbs simultaneously as opposed to staging the procedures a few months apart. This has the advantage of a shorter recovery period. A faster return to function is more economical without increasing post-operative complication rates.

More information can be found at the American College of Veterinary Surgeons website.

ACVS Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease