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Meniscal Injuries: CCL (ACL)

The knee, or in veterinary medicine the stifle, is an amazingly dynamic and complex joint that enables the dog or cat’s body to move in multiple directions with competence at speed as well as when walking at a more leisurely pace. The stifle is comprised of two main sets of ligaments that maintain the stifle’s integrity. Those ligaments are the medial and lateral collateral ligaments as well as the cranial and caudal cruciate ligaments. There are also two very important shock absorbing structures in the stifle called the menisci (meniscus).

Stifle injuries are quite common in dogs and cats, just as they are in people. Anyone who watches or is involved with athletics has at least heard of some of the common ligament injuries that can sideline an athlete. One of the most commonly known knee injuries is an ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament), or in veterinary medicine we call it the CCL (Cranial Cruciate Ligament) rupture or tear. These types of injuries are extremely common in our pets as well.

Cruciate ligament injuries are typically characterized by acute onset lameness which is often non weight bearing on the affected limb typically after running or jumping. It is most common in middle aged overweight pets but can occur in pets of any age and physical condition. The lameness after the acute injury will typically improve after a few weeks with anti-inflammatory, pain medications, and rest. However, the instability in the joint will persist and, if left un-repaired, will frequently lead to meniscal damage and eventual osteoarthritis in the stifle. Surgical repair of the CCL and meniscus stabilizes the stifle and moves the damaged tissue, allowing the best prognosis for return to pre-injury athletic ability and prevention of osteoarthritis in the future.

There are numerous surgical repair techniques for cruciate and meniscal injuries and not every technique or approach is ideal for every patient. A surgical consultation for a stifle injury typically involves a physical exam, x-rays, and sometimes blood work to determine the extent of the injury as well as what is the best surgical technique for your pet and your budget. Not every patient will be a candidate for surgery at Quail Crossing. Some patients, depending upon their activity levels or joint confirmations, may be better served to see an orthopedic surgical specialist, and when this is the case we will always put you and your pet in the most capable hands to ensure the best possible return to function.

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Meniscal Injuries: CCL (ACL)
Quality of Life & Hospice Care
Euthanasia and Cremation Services
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Anesthesia and patient monitoring
Spay (Ovariohysterectomy)
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Cruciate Ligament Surgery (ACL or CCL) using patented Arthrex Swivel-Lock Technology
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