Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) tears or ruptures are one of the most common orthopedic injuries seen in dogs with a variety of causes including activity, joint health, breed, age and obesity. The cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) attaches the back of the upper leg bone (femur) and the front of the lower leg bone (tibia) and acts to stabilise the knee (stifle) joint during weight bearing at walk, trot or run.
When the ligament is torn, each time the dog bears weight, there is excessive motion in the joint due to instability, which causes pain. The knee joint also has C-shaped cartilages, called menisci, which act as shock absorbers. When the knee is unstable due to a torn CCL, these structures are at risk of damage. Injuries can be classified as either partial or complete ruptures of the ligament.
In most cases of full rupture of the ligament, surgery is recommended to quickly stabilise the joint. There are various procedures which are chosen depending on the age, weight, breed, activity level and knee anatomy of your pet, and experience of the surgeon.
However, some pets are simply not surgical candidates. Due to age, coexisting medical conditions or other concerns, surgery is not possible and in these cases a hinged knee brace or stifle orthoses can be considered. Paws in Motion can help with the sizing and fitment of othoses all of which are uniquely created and designed by Orthopets to meet the biomechanical requirements of the individual patient.