Orthopedic Surgery

We perform a variety of orthopedic (bone) surgeries in our clinic such as Ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament repair.

Ruptured Cranial Cruciate Ligament

A ruptured cranial cruciate ligament (known as anterior cruciate ligament “ACL” in humans) is one of the most common orthopedic diseases of our pets. Due to the angle of the stifle (knee) joint in the canine and feline, there is tremendous force placed on the cranial cruciate ligament, causing it to fatigue and eventually breakdown. When this happens, instability is created, allowing a forward thrusting motion of the tibia (tibial thrust) with respect to the femur. The tibial thrust causes pain and can damage other tissues within the joint, mainly the meniscus (padding between the femur and tibia). If left untreated, arthritis will form, which can lead to chronic pain and lameness. Petersen Pet Hospital offers surgical correction of the ruptured cranial cruciate ligament. Although multiple procedures are available for correction of the deficient cruciate ligament, we have concentrated on the two that we feel give the best results. For our small patients, usually less than 20 pounds, we recommend a Lateral Suture Technique. For our larger patients, a Tibial Tuberosity Advancement 2 (TTA2) is preferred.

Lateral Suture Technique

The lateral suture method involves placing a nylon suture material on the outside of the knee in a similar orientation to the injured cranial cruciate ligament. This stabilizes the joint and after the nylon degrades (weeks to months) fibrous tissue provides long term stabilization. The majority of dogs recover 80-85% of normal within 4 – 6 months. This repair requires limited activity for 6-8 weeks. Smaller dogs (less 20 lbs) are better candidates for this procedure compared to larger dogs, active dogs, or working dogs.

Tibial Tuberosity Advancement 2 (TTA2)

The TTA-2 consists of placing a single implant cage made of coated titanium within the tibial bone that advances the insertion of the patella tendon forward. The implant cage is coated with a ceramic material that stimulates bone growth to accelerate healing. This achieves the change in biomechanics necessary to stabilize the joint and reduce cartilage damage while preserving more of the surrounding soft tissue due to the minimally invasive approach. There is also a stabilizing staple and suture material utilized for added safety and support. TTA2 offers a lower complication rate and excellent recovery. Typical recovery for patients undergoing this procedure is limited activity for 8-10 weeks, but most are full weight bearing within 2 weeks. Patients receiving this repair have a good to excellent prognosis for returning to full athletic activity. Dogs of all sizes, breeds, and ages can benefit from the TTA2 procedure.

Benefits of the TTA2 surgical procedure:

Rapid recovery: full weight bearing within 2 weeks for most cases

Good prognosis for return to full activity and reduction of lameness

Decreased progression of osteoarthritis

Less invasive than TTA and TPLO procedures

Lower complication rate

If you have any questions about cranial cruciate disease, please schedule an exam with Dr. Petersen to discuss your options.

Because we want to ensure that our patients receive the best possible outcome, we will occasionally refer our patients to a board-certified orthopedic surgeon for such things as back surgery and fractured bone surgery.

Please contact us if you have any questions about these procedures or if you think your pet might benefit from them.