ACL Surgery in Dogs is extremely common
As stated several times throughout this website, ACL surgery in dogs is by far the most common orthopedic surgery performed in all veterinary medicine. To learn why this is such a common injury click here. Over the years several techniques have been developed to address the instability in the knee caused by this injury. For purpose of keeping thing easy to understand we are only going to briefly discuss four of them. It is best to discuss with your veterinarian which surgery is the best for your dog, as there are pro and cons to each of the techniques. In addition, we strongly recommend that you immediately start your dog on a joint supplement to support their joint health during this time of increased stress. If you are interest in learning more about TopDog's highest veterinary recommended joint health supplement, GlycanAid-HA Advanced Formula specifically designed for dogs with increased stress due to joint injury click here.
There are a number of factors to considering when choosing which is the best surgery option for your dog. Such things as their size, weight, age, degree of normal physical activity and last but not least surgery cost, all play a role in helping you make the right decision. Again it is best to discuss all of these with your veterinarian.
The Three Most Common Surgery Techniques
Extracapsular Repair or Lateral Suture Technique or Imbrication Suture Technique:
This is probably considered the oldest technique out of the four. It is currently recommended for dogs less than 50 lbs, though dogs over 50 lbs still do fine with this surgical technique. Post-surgery physical therapy increases the odds of success dramatically. For this surgery a continuous mono-filament nylon suture (similar to fishing line) is placed around the fabellar bone of the femur and looped through a hole which is drilled in the tibial tuberosity. The two ends of the suture are then securely held in place using a stainless steel clip.
Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)
In the last 10 years this procedure has become one of the hallmarks of ACL surgery in dogs. It was invented and then patented by Dr. Barclay Slocum in 1993. The majority of its success comes from the fact that it quickly addresses the problem of the femur rubbing back and forth off the back of the tibia when the ACL is ruptured. During this surgery the surgeon using a special curved saw, makes a complete cut through the top part of the tibial bone. This piece of bone then gets rotated and plated with a stainless steel metal plate. By rotating the top of the tibia the once sloped tibial plateau now essentially becomes flat. If you are planning on a TPLO surgery for your dog click here for the TPLO guide.
Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA)
Another ACL surgery in dogs like the TPLO that has gained popularity in the last 5 years, is the TTA, though the theory behind the surgery is much different. The tibial tuberosity advancement involves making a cut down the entire tibial tuberosity, the front part of the tibia. This cut bone is then advanced forward and a specialized bone spacer is placed in the open space. Finally a stainless steel metal plate is applied in order to secure the bone in place. Because the patellar tendon attaches to this tibial tuberosity, once it is advanced, the tendon keeps the femur from sliding back and forth and therefore stabilizes the knee joint. If you are planning on the TTA surgery for your dog click here for the TTA guide.