Various Surgical Options for Canine Knee Injuries

Dogs are indeed different from humans, but they are actually ways that they are similar. Two of these similarities are the anatomical structure and function of canine knee joints. In dogs, just like in humans, the anatomy of the knees make the highly prone to injury and other joint weakening disorders. And with usually the case of humans, usually, surgery for dogs is the best option in correcting a potentially debilitating ailment.


Common Canine Knee Problems

Just like many animals and mammals, dogs can suffer from various joint problems. There are some ailments, though, that are very serious and may require surgery. Among the most common knee problems among dogs, particularly among larger breeds, are ligament injuries, like tearing of the cranial cruciate ligament. Herding and working dogs, along with participating in agility competitions, usually have the highest risk for such injuries.

Although smaller dogs do not tend to sustain ligament injuries as often, man toy breeds suffer from patella lunation. Otherwise known as kneecap dislocation, this condition happens when the knee cap slides in and out of place. With these problems, depending on their severity, dog knee surgery are usually required to alleviate and correct the issue.

Common Dog Knee Surgeries

Just like in knee injuries and disorders among humans, surgery is also usually the best option for restoring joint function among dogs. Some of the most common surgical procedures performed on canine knee joints are the following:

  • Ligament replacement. To stabilize and repair a ruptured ligament, this kind of surgery will replace the torn ligament with one from either a cadaver or one that is created from the surrounding tissues.
  • Tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO). This procedure addresses ligament laxity and knee instability, which are two of the major contributors to torn ligaments, in a different way. Rather than reconstructing the ligament, this procedure will correct the injury by cutting the tibia bone which adjusts the angle of the knee joint. While the bone heals, everything is kept in place with plates and screws.
  • Tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA). Among other factors, the force that the quadriceps muscle pulls on the knee can impact the stability of the joint. In this procedure, will change where the muscle attaches which minimizes the pull of forces. To achieve this, the tibia is rotated, changing the angle of the tibial surface.

When the ligaments holding the knee cap in place get too loose, the patella can slip to the side and out of place. Usually, veterinarians will cut the ligaments holding the knee cap in place, shortening them and the groove in which the patella moves up and down the femur is deepened. In some cases, the primary tendon holding the kneecap is repositioned to increase function and stability.


Recovering from Dog Knee Surgery

As expected, dog require downtime following a surgical procedure. Aside from administering pain medications, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics are used. Pet owners usually will have to limit the activities of their dogs for a certain time after the surgery. Aside from some exceptions, the results of any knee surgery for dogs in Doylestown are positive.

When knee injuries among dogs are left untreated, just like with humans, it can worsen and even cause additional problems. If your dog displays symptoms of lameness, it might be important to have them examined by your veterinarian. He can diagnose the cause of the symptoms and refer you to a specialist for knee surgery when necessary.

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