The cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) is a primary ligament in a pet’s knee. This ligament—similar to the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, in humans—helps hold the knee in its proper alignment. This ligament supports the knee by continuously bearing a pet’s body weight and preventing the femur from sliding against the tibia. This constant tension leaves the CCL highly vulnerable to injury, and a CCL tear is one of the most common orthopedic injuries in dogs, particularly in large breeds.
The CCL can rupture due to ligament degeneration or traumatic injury, and when this happens, the knee cannot bear any weight. Pets with torn CCLs have dramatically reduced mobility and experience pain and inflammation. Dogs are unable to put weight on the affected leg and will walk with a pronounced limp. Plus, when pets get used to favoring one leg over the other, they can often end up tearing multiple CCLs in different limbs. If CCL tears are left untreated, they can lead to osteoarthritis and further meniscus damage.
Bear Valley Veterinary Care Center offers several surgical options for treating CCL ruptures. The procedure that is right for your pet will depend on the severity of the tear and many patient-specific medical factors, like your pet’s age and general health status. All CCL repair procedures at Bear Valley are performed by highly trained veterinary surgeons. Specialists complete multi-year, advanced training to achieve board certification. Our skilled surgeons work closely with your pet’s primary Bear Valley veterinarian to ensure patient safety and excellent care quality.
CCL Repair Procedures Performed at Bear Valley Veterinary Care Center
The extracapsular repair procedure uses a robust suture material to replace the cranial cruciate ligament. Scar tissue develops along the suture, reinforcing the repair and stabilizing the knee. While not the sturdiest repair method available, the surgery is highly effective for smaller and less active pets and provides fewer chances for complications compared to other CCL repair procedures.
TPLO procedures restructure the bone interaction within the knee to stabilize the joint. This innovative surgery alters the slope of the tibia to allow the femur to rest directly on the bone. Upon achieving the desired angle, a steel plate is attached to the bone to hold it in place and allow the pet to heal correctly. By leveling the tibial plateau, the femur is no longer able to slide against the bone and cause damage, so TPLO surgery creates a load-bearing, stable joint without the cranial cruciate ligament.
Schedule an appointment at Bear Valley Veterinary Care Center as soon as you can if you suspect your pet has a torn CCL.