TightRope Cruciate Surgery at Elkhorn Veterinary Clinic
Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) surgery is the most commonly performed veterinary orthopedic surgery. Although there are several CCL surgical methods used in the canine patient, the TightRope should be considered due to it being a less invasive procedure with fewer risks and less expensive than other methods.
The dog’s stifle joint is similar to our own knee with the dog’s CCL correlating to our anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The CCL is the most critical stabilizing structure in the canine knee with its primary function being to prevent the forward thrusting motion and inward rotation of the tibia and to prevent hyper-extension of the knee. When the CCL is ruptured or partially torn, the joint becomes unstable and painful. Ultimately the knee will develop debilitating, degenerative arthritic changes.
Unlike other extracapsular techniques using nylon suture, the TightRope CCL surgery uses a strong ribbon-like suture strategically placed in the joint to mimic the natural cruciate ligament functions. This procedure helps ensure optimal isometric placement while providing optimal joint range of motion. TightRope CCL surgery can be performed successfully in medium, large and giant-breed dogs with CCL deficiency. Studies show 95 percent “good” to “excellent” outcomes being consistently reported with less than 9 percent complications requiring additional treatment. Although other procedures such as TPLO (tibial plateau leveling osteotomy) and TTA (tibial tuberosity advancement) which cut bone and change the anatomy of the knee have shown comparable outcomes, the cost and complication rate for those methods is higher.
If you would like more information on the procedure or to find out if your dog qualifies for the surgery, please contact the clinic. We’d be happy to assist you.