Cruciate Surgery

If your dog has an injury to its stifle (knee), it may have damaged the cruciate ligament.  If left untreated, there is an almost 100% likelihood of severe arthritis developing in the joint. 

As soon as the acute swelling in the joint settles, we can do an operation to help stablise the joint.  For very large dogs, very small dogs and very elderly dogs, alternative operations or procedures may be more appropriate and we will discuss this with you.

During the operation, we explore the injured joint to remove damaged ligaments and tears to the cartilages.  We then put a stablisation “suture” of nylon in the joint capsule which supports the joint’s movement.

After recovery from the anaesthetic, most dogs are ready to go home in the early evening following their operation.  They will have had injections to control the pain and inflammation, plus antibiotics.

Your pet will need a quiet few months to recover fully.  We will advise you on exercise and medication during this time.  We will arrange post operation checks in the days and weeks after the operation and will often start some basic physiotherapy techniques and teach you how to help your pet with massage and special exercises, to enable your pet to regain muscle and function in the joint.  For many dogs, hydrotherapy is also very useful in rehabilitation.

If a pet has damaged one stifle, the other one is more vulnerable and you may find that this one becomes injured in the future.

Further information on cranial cruciate ligament disease can be found here:  Cranial cruciate_ligament_disease.pdf