Your dog is limping, clearly in pain. You’ve taken them to the veterinarian to see what’s wrong, what can be done to help your best friend get back on their feet again. It turns out for your dog, CCL surgery is the recommended course of action. This time on the Wound Wear blog, we are looking at what goes into the dog CCL surgery to repair our furry friend’s knees!
Dog CCL Surgery – Fixing the Cruciate
The most common orthopedic surgery dogs undergo isn’t for hip dysplasia – no, 85% of all orthopedic surgeries performed on canines every year are CCL surgeries. There are several different kinds of CCL surgery for dogs.
The four most common techniques are the extracapsular suture (MRIT), the tightrope CCL, tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA), and the tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO). All of them have the same goal, to stabilize and support the stifle joint following a CCL injury. Often this means incisions and placing sutures around the outside of the joint to mimic that stability of a healthy joint, preventing the tibia from sliding out from under the femur.
The extracapsular suture procedure, for instance, does this by placing a nylon suture around one of the bones of the femur and then through a hole in the tibial tuberosity. These are then held in place by a stainless-steel clip.
For you dog, CCL surgery alone isn’t going to get the results it needs to heal right.
For a surgery to be successful it needs the proper post-operative and home care as well as rehabilitation done by the owner and dog. Should this step be neglected, you might as well not even get the surgery done in the first place as the animal is likely to reinjure themselves.
Complications of Dog CCL Surgery
As we said, dog CCL surgeries aren’t 100%. There are things that can go wrong after the fact without proper care but there are also possible complications during the surgery itself! Infection, a failure for the repair to take, ongoing lameness, implant failure, and arthritis progression can all be possible complications of a CCL surgery gone sideways. That can be terrifying, and if the surgery doesn’t take then what’s the point you might wonder.
Cost of Dog CCL Surgery
The surgery easily costs in the thousands of dollars. According to the ASPCA, it isn’t uncommon for the total cost to run close to $8,000. All for a surgery that might not take, that might have complications in the process. It can make a terrible situation even worse. That’s why it is imperative to really consider all the options available to you and yours before committing to an expensive, lengthy procedure.
Things to Consider Before Dog CCL Surgery
So, the cost is on your radar, and you know of the possible complications. What else should you take into consideration before opting for dog CCL surgery? Think about the age, size, weight, and activity level of the dog. The rehab/post-care necessary. The surgeon who will be performing the project. All of these should go into your decision for surgery or not because it is an expensive procedure and one that does not guarantee results.
What Other Options Are There?
Surgery isn’t the only option out there, however! For animals that don’t have complete tears, or are of a certain weight, the conservative CCL brace provided by Wound Wear can be all the treatment they need! Our dynamic braces replicate that same effect as that extracapsular
Better yet, it’s built-in post-operative/rehab! If you are ready to get your dog on the path to healing, contact us and get your dog their dynamic brace!