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Ruby presented to Crown Vets Referrals with a sudden onset lameness in her left hind leg. Examination conscious and under sedation revealed an instability in the stifle joint which is commonly seen following rupture of the Cranial Cruciate Ligament. Radiographs confirmed an abnormal fluid accumulation within the joint known as an effusion, confirming a problem within the joint.
Rupture of the Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCl) is one of the most common causes of hind limb lameness in dogs. In small dogs restricted exercise and pain relief can occasionally be enough to allow an improvement but larger dogs almost always need surgery to correct the instability. At Crown Vets Referrals we commonly operate to correct this problem and choose a procedure known as Tibial Tuberosity Advancement, an advanced technique, which redirects the forces travelling through and around the joint providing dynamic stability and a rapid return of pain-free function.
The technique involves cutting the tibia (shin bone) and advancing it forward slightly to move the insertion of the quadriceps muscle, neutralising the forces responsible for the instability and pain. The bone is held in its new position using a cleverly engineered titanium wedge through which bone grows to anchor it in place. We also inspected the joint cartilages using arthroscopy to rule out tears or damage.
Ruby recovered well in the following 6-8 weeks and is now bounding around the Highlands free of lameness with her very happy owner!