TPLO and Post-Op CCL Tear Recovery
A CCL tear is a common canine injury, particularly in older dogs. Often compared to the ACL in humans, the CCL is an important ligament that allows dogs to enjoy freedom of movement and a high quality of life. When there is damage to the CCL, it can be hard for dogs to get around and keep up with their normal day-to-day activities.
At Happy Paws, we are proud to offer canine rehab services for dogs who have recently undergone CCL surgery, including TPLO surgery. This is a surgery that is often performed in response to a CCL injury, and it has an excellent track record of success. If your dog has recently had TPLO surgery and you are looking into rehab options, or if you think this surgery may take place in the near future, please reach out to us right away to discuss our services.
What are CCL Tears in Canines?
Before talking about rehab from TPLO surgery, let’s back up for a second and discuss the CCL and what happens when it becomes injured. In dogs, CCL stands for Cranial Cruciate Ligament, which is found in the knee joint. In a healthy dog, this ligament provides stability for the joint, allowing the knee to function properly and the dog can run, jump, and play without pain in that area.
However, CCL injuries are common, and a damaged CCL can lead to a long list of negative outcomes. A partial list of what can happen as a result of CCL damage includes lost range of motion, ongoing pain, difficulty sitting or getting back up, swelling, and more. If you find that your dog is not moving as well as he or she does normally, and you aren’t quite sure why, it may be that a CCL injury is to blame.
Possible CCL Tear Causes
There are plenty of causes that can result in damage to the CCL in your dog’s knee. The list below highlights some of the possible causes, but it’s always best to simply pay attention to your pet’s overall health and have a veterinarian examine your dog if concerns arise.
- Age. Since this is an injury that typically happens as the result of degeneration, age is a primary factor that must be considered. It’s far more likely that you’ll find your dog facing a CLL issue later in life than in his or her early years. So, as your dog ages, pay particular attention to movement patterns and watch for signs of pain or discomfort.
- Breed. Some breeds are more commonly impacted by this issue, including Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Standard Poodles, and other large breeds. Of course, while some breeds are more likely to face this health problem than others, you should still consider the possibility of this injury for any breed of dog you may own.
- Weight. If your dog is overweight based on size and breed, that is another factor that could contribute to CCL damage. With more weight comes more stress, and the ligament will simply be working harder when it is having to deal with that additional stress on an ongoing basis.
It’s worth noting that most CCL injuries in dogs don’t happen as a result of one single traumatic event. This is commonly a misconception because that is how most humans injure their ACL – they are running or playing a sport and the knee gives out. However, for your dog, it’s more likely to be a gradual process of accumulated damage than it is to be a sudden rupture.
Three Surgical Options for CCL Tear Repair
It’s not always the case that surgery will be required in response to a CCL injury. However, if you do decide to pursue surgery to help your dog work back toward health, there are three different types of operations that can be used. The one that is best for your dog will depend on
various factors that you will need to discuss with your vet.
- TPLO. The name of this surgery stands for Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy, and it is the most common surgical approach to deal with CCL damage. The tibia is flattened in this surgery, and then hardware is used to stabilize the joint and help your dog move without pain once again. While there is a rehab period associated with the recovery from this surgery, the outlook is generally good – especially when the surgery is paired with professional canine rehab.
- Lateral Suture. Another option for CCL surgery is Lateral Suture Stabilization, where a suture is used to stabilize the joint and allow the dog to enjoy full range of motion after recovery. This is akin to ACL repairs in humans.
- TTA. Finally, Tibial Tuberosity Advancement is a third surgical option that may be considered. This surgery is rather technical in nature, but the goal is to improve the alignment of the patellar ligament, improving stability and helping the dog to regain normal movement.
Why Happy Paws is the Right Choice for Canine Rehab
It’s important to pick a rehab practice that you can trust in the aftermath of such an important surgery. While the outlook for most dogs is quite good after TPLO surgery and the like, you don’t want to take healing and recovery for granted. Instead, play an active role by having rehab provided that will address the important areas and guide your dog back to optimal health.
Happy Paws would be proud to work with you and your pet, so please reach out today to learn more. We’ve provided this kind of rehab for many previous dogs and would apply all of our knowledge and experience for your dog’s benefit. Through the use of various techniques such as range of motion exercises, stretching, and more, we’ll work to improve the outlook for your furry friend moving forward. Thank you for stopping by and we hope to serve you soon.