A torn anterior cruciate ligament is a frequent injury in dogs. A partial or complete tear of the cruciate ligament results in instability of the knee, leading to inflammation, cartilage damage and often meniscus injuries also.
There are various surgical methods of treating cruciate ligament tears. A distinction is made between techniques that replace the function of the anterior cruciate ligament and techniques that lead to a change in the biomechanics of the knee.
The most frequent operation method is the extracapsular technique in which the ligament is replaced by insertion of prosthetic ligaments made of various materials. The aim is immediate stabilisation of the knee until thickening of the connective tissue capsule takes place, which then contributes subsequently to joint stability.
With methods that lead to a change in the biomechanics of the knee, the aim is to achieve dynamic joint stability, i.e., stability is generated during weight-bearing. The operations of TPLO and TTA are performed most often. Arthroscopy is often performed at the same time as both of these operations so as to treat any meniscus injuries.
TPLO (tibial plateau levelling osteotomy)
In the TPLO method, the angle of the tibia (shin bone) is altered, thereby making the anterior cruciate ligament superfluous to a certain extent.
TTA (tibial tuberosity advancement)
The anterior part of the tibia (shin bone) is cut with a saw and moved forward, thereby changing the course of the patellar tendon so that the anterior cruciate ligament again becomes irrelevant.