My dog has torn its ACL, I want it to have surgery that is going to give it the BEST outcome, I want...
- Short recovery time after Surgery (Less cage or crate confeinement)
- Excellent mobility (Best return to pre-injury activity)
- Least risk of complications
- Post Operation Rehab
I also want to know WHAT are the different TYPES of knee reconstruction, cruciate surgery available.
We have been performing the Isometric Cruciate surgeries in Adelaide since early 2014 and our results reflect the excellent results seen in the USA where American University studies have placed the "Tight Rope" (patented Isometric surgery) above the other techniques performed by Vet Specialists (TPLO & TTA surgeries). We have done over 220 Isometric Cruciate surgeries with outstanding results in all breeds (from Small to Large Dog Breeds), in all ages (even geriatric patients) and also in over-weight patients and those with arthritis and/or hip issues.
The American study (See below) demonstrates the Isometric technique equals the results of the TPLO procedure performed by the Veterinary Orthopaedic Specialists there BUT has less complications, particularly the catastrophic bone plate failures occasionally seen in TPLO, TTO and TTA surgeries and much less meniscal tears post surgery. For this reason we advise the Isometric ACL surgery over these other procedures, however Australian Specialists still advise the TPLO or TTO.
The Isometric surgery requires much less confinement and stabilises the stifle joint, whereas the TPLO, TTO and TTA do not, but rely on mechanical changes to the bone and joint angles to reduce the reliance on the need for an ACL in in low to moderate exercises.
Every joint surgery has a risk of bacterial infection, however, to date, we have not seen this in any Isometric surgical patients, only once in a Staffie that had a TTO procedure by another surgeon.
Can I have my dog looked at and assessed by a Veterinary Surgeon, with no obligation to proceed with surgery?
Most certainly! We have a "NO CONSULT FEE Unless Treatment or Services Provided" policy that means you can be seen by a vet and have the legs and hips checked. If you decide not to have, or your dog does not need pain relief, anti-inflammatories or x-rays then there is no charge.
If you have been seen elsewhere, you may have the x-rays forwarded to us AND we can check your dog's knee and give our opinion on treatment AND surgery options AND costs ... If you decide not to proceed with our suggestions then there is still No Charge.
If my dog is limping on its hind leg, what are the chances that it IS the ACL?
The ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is the main ligament stabilising the stifle (dog's knee) against forward forces on the upper tibia (shin bone), and is the most likely structure in the stifle to be sprained, or ruptured, causing pain and inflammation which results in a limp and debilitating arthritis.
However, there are other ligaments, tendons and cartilages that maybe injured either with or without the ACL being involved. These include:
- The PCL (posterior Cruciate ligament) that opposes the opposite forces to the ACL and is torn in approximately 15 to 20% of ACL ruptures.
- The Medial meniscus is irreparably damaged in many ACL injuries and is assessed and surgically treated at the time of the ACL surgery. There is also a Lateral meniscus which is less often damaged.
- The Medial Colateral ligament holds the lower leg to the femur on the middle side of the knee and is often stretched and painful in ACL injuries, and over time (if ACL surgery not undertaken) becomes chronically swollen forming a large firm lump on the inside of the knee. The Lateral Colateral ligament is rarely damaged except usually completely ruptured in cats.
- The Patella, Patella Tendon and Tibial Tubercle and are occasionally involved with many young dogs breaking their Tibial Tubercle at the top front aspect of the shin bone. We sometimes see fractured Patellae (knee caps) and FREQUENTLY see dislocated patella in small to small-medium breeds, and occasionally larger breeds.
The next most frequently injured joint is the hip joint, and then the ankle and toe joints. Pelvic injuries, lower spinal disease, nerve damage and muscle injuries... and cancers.
An anaesthetic is advised to allow accurate manipulation of all the leg joints to check for looseness and crepitus (grating sensation) that will indicate which structures are involved, AND X-rays to look at the bone structures and evidence of fluid swelling in the stifle.
For Cat Stifle Injuries, which tend to be more complex with multiple ligament ruptures, please read: Cat ACL Ruptures and Knee Dislocations.
LATEST RESEARCH COMPARING DOG CRUCIATE SURGERY TECHNIQUES AND OUTCOMES SHOWS ISOMETRIC ACL SURGERY ("Tight-Rope" Procedure) IS BEST, giving the best long term results with less dogs subsequently injuring their knee cartilage (meniscal tears) afterwards. This technique is performed at the Seaton Vet Centre and is ideal for large breed dog cruciate repairs, giant breed dog cruciate surgery - and especially so if they are active or over weight. It is also ideal for small and medium dog ACL repair, being far superior to the De Angelis lateral suture technique.
At Findon and Seaton Vets we are serious about obtaining the very best outcome for pets undergoing anterior cruciate ligament surgery. Our cruciate repair procedures are advanced, and give the best surgical results we have seen, with rapid return to function (use of the leg that had surgery). However, this is not enough. Rehabilitation is always recommended and takes the form of passive exercise and massage, introduction of controlled exercise in a controlled environment, and management of weight bearing.
- Current Cruciate Ligament surgeries for dogs in Adelaide and South Australia
- What YOU need to know about cruciate repair surgery
- IVY's cruciate repair testimonial
- STEP-BY-STEP Pictorial of an ACL surgery (Ligafiba Isotoggle technique) for small and medium dogs
The surgical repair of anterior cruciate ligament rupture is the most common orthopaedic surgery performed by veterinarians - and in Adelaide is no different. It is a common injury, and cruciate surgery is required to stabilse the knee (stifle) joint so that a return to the best function of the leg possible is achieved, which then also minimises severe degenerative arthritis.
Many dogs, because they must transfer all of their weight initially to their good leg, will damage or even fully rupture their other cruciate ligament (15% will do this within 3 months of the original injury)! This risk slowly reduces as more and more weight and confidence in the leg where the original cruciate rupture occurred. Surgery minimises this risk by improving the eventual weight bearing on the leg with the ruptured cruciate.
There are several different techniques available in Adelaide, and we advise the most recent techniques which provide excellent, and definitely improved, knee stability, and function, compared to the older techniques. The new cruciate rupture surgeries provide superior stabilization, and much earlier, and thus help minimise the risk of damage to the opposite cruciate by sharing more of the body weight sooner!
Regardless of which procedure is performed, some arthrtis will continue to develop and we advise all dogs that have fully or partly torn their cruciate ligament have a course of Zydax injections, and that this is repeated every six months.
Learn more about current anterior cruciate reprair surgery techniques available in Adelaide at the Findon vet Surgery: ISOMETRIC Cruciate Surgery: Adelaide and South Australia
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