Cruciate Ligament Surgery in Guildford
Oak Barn Vets are pleased to offer cruciate ligament surgery for dogs and cats.
Surgery to treat lameness caused by cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) trauma or disease is one of the most common orthopaedic operations in dogs and is occasionally seen in cats. Here at Oak Barn Vets we offer two different procedures.
Firstly, the Lateral Suture procedure, which is used in both cats and small dogs. This is a relatively simple surgery that places an artificial suture in the place of the cruciate ligament, to stabilise the joint. It has a 6-week recovery period and can work very well for animals <15kg.
Larger dogs (>15kg) require a more substantial procedure. There are a number of different procedures available including Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy (TPLO), Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA) and the Modified Maquet Procedure (MMP) amongst others. They are all more complex procedures than the lateral suture, requiring osteotomies (cutting into the bone) and inevitably involve the risk of some complications but usually give a much better outcome.
At Oak Barn Vets we offer the Modified Maquet Procedure (MMP). This uses a titanium foam wedge inserted into the knee joint.
The success rate is very high and the complication rate is very low as compared to many older techniques. The costs for many CCL procedures can be very high. We pride ourselves on giving you a cost-effective alternative when choosing where to send your pet for surgery.
Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) disease:
Cruciate ligament ruptures are typically seen as acute sporting injuries, in footballers and skiers for example. In dogs it is a little different. In most dogs the condition is a chronic degenerative condition. The ligament degenerates and gets weaker with time and at some point will start to tear. The signs associated with the initial stages of the condition can be subtle and may be missed –such as stiffness on rising from rest and mild, occasional lameness.
As the ligament continues to tear the signs may become more obvious but it is not uncommon for owners to first realise their dog has a problem when the already weakened ligament finally tears completely, often during relatively normal activity. At this stage the knee (also known as a stifle) will be unstable –the two bones of the stifle (the tibia and femur) will rock back and forth during walking. This can cause significant lameness and discomfort unless treated appropriately.
The diagnosis is often made on palpation/manipulation of the stifle, although in many dogs this requires sedation. X-rays may show signs of osteoarthritis.
Some small dogs (< 15kg) may do well with a period of rest and anti inflammatories alone, although surgery is generally considered to offer a quicker and more reliable recovery. Larger dogs are less likely to do well without surgery and so surgery is always advised. Surgery involves stabilisation of the joint.