There are two common options available to repair a ruptured cruciate.
With the lateral suture technique, about 85% of the cases are significantly improved from their preoperative state. We can expect that 50% of these dogs will have some degree of lameness, whether it is mild or intermittent following heavy activity. On the other hand, about 50% regain normal function of the limb.
Even though this surgery may not return the limb to perfectly normal function, these dogs usually are greatly improved over their condition prior to surgery.
The lateral suture technique will not stop the progression of arthritis that is already present in the joint. As a result, your pet may have some stiffness of the limb in the mornings, after heavy exercise or during weather changes. Intermittent or chronic pan can often be effectively managed with medications and weight loss.
Rehabilitation therapy should be performed until your pet is bearing a significant amount of weight on the limb.
Ice pack the knee three times daily, 10 minutes per session for the first 2 days to help reduce the swelling and pain.
Hot-pack the knee starting on the third day after surgery, 10 minutes per session prior to passive range of motion of the joint. The hot-packing will loosen the soft tissues and make it less painful to do the exercise.
Passive range of motion (PROM) of the joint involves flexing and extending the knee joint, and should be done 10 minutes following the hot-packing. After the range of motion exercises have been completed, a cold compress is applied to the knee for about 5 to 10 minutes.
During the first two months activity is restricted to short leash walks outside.
Running, jumping, and rough play are forbidden.
Gradually increasing the activity during the third month after surgery allows for a safe return to function.
Unleashed activity can take place after four months.
By 2 weeks after surgery your pet should be touching the toes to the ground at a walk.
By 2 months after surgery the lameness should be mild to moderate.
By 4-6 months after surgery your pet should be using the limb well.
Anesthetic death can occur, but is rare
Infection at the surgical site
Sterile reaction to the nylon bands
Premature loosening or breakage of the nylon bands