Cranial Cruciate Ligament Repair

Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease is a common knee joint condition in pets, especially dogs that involves damage or tearing of the ligament that stabilizes the knee, causing pain and instability.

Cranial Cruciate Ligament Repair

What is Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease and what does the repair do?

Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease occurs when the ligament responsible for stabilizing the knee, known as the cranial cruciate ligament, becomes damaged or torn. This leads to pain, lameness, and reduced mobility in the affected limb. This often requires surgical intervention to restore stability and function to the knee joint.

Cranial Cruciate Ligament Repair refers to the various surgical techniques used to address the condition. These techniques aim to reconstruct or alter the knee joint mechanics to compensate for the damaged ligament and promote proper healing and function. Common surgical methods include extracapsular stabilization, tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO), and tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA). The choice of surgical technique depends on factors such as the size of the pet, activity level, and severity of the ligament damage.

Signs and symptoms to watch for

This condition typically manifests as limping, lameness especially particularly after activity, difficulty rising, swelling around the knee joint, and reluctance to put weight on the affected leg. These signs may vary in severity and can lead to muscle atrophy in the affected limb. Early recognition of these symptoms is key for timely intervention and management of the condition.


This consists of a combination of physical examination, gait analysis, and imaging techniques such as X-rays or radiographs. During an physical exam, veterinarians may manipulate the affected joint to assess stability and detect signs of discomfort. Gait analysis helps evaluate abnormal movement patterns. X-rays, MRI or CT scans are commonly used to visualize changes in the joint structure, such as arthritis or bone spurs.

Treatment Options

There are both surgical and non-surgical approaches. Non-surgical management may involve rest, weight management, physical therapy, and medications to alleviate pain and inflammation. However, surgical intervention is often necessary for long-term stability and function restoration. Surgical options include extracapsular stabilization, tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO), tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA), and tightrope technique. The choice of treatment depends on factors like the pet’s size, activity level, and severity of the condition. Early intervention can help improve outcomes and prevent further joint damage.