One of the most common knee injuries in dogs is the rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). For dogs over 40lbs, the most common method of treatment by many veterinary surgeons is a procedure called a TPLO. This involves cutting the tibia bone and applying a bone plate to stabilize the CCL-deficient knee in these dogs. Now, a new minimally invasive technique option exits called the Tightrope procedure. This new procedure has fewer, and less severe complications than previous methods. It has been developed by a orthopedic surgeon at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. Here at Beechnut Animal Hospital, Dr. Matt has been performing Tightrope surgeries since 2007. Arthrex is the orthopedic company that developed the Tightrope. In 2012, Dr. Matt was asked by Arthrex, to teach this procedure to veterinarians throughout the United States.
The Tightrope technique, is a modification of human procedures used in ankle surgery. A device is surgically placed that stabilizes the CCL-deficient knee through bone tunnels drilled using smaller incisions.
This new technique has the added advantage of being 1/3 the cost of the traditional TPLO. In inital studies, dogs experienced fewer and less severe complications, while clients graded outcomes equal to those seen with the TPLO.
Beechnut Animal Hospital is one of the first veterianary hospitals in Houston to provide this procedure. We have been performing this procedure since the middle of 2008 with excellent results. Most dogs are beginning to walk the day following the procedure.
There are some pets that are not good candidates for the Tightrope procedure. Extremely active dogs where owners are unable curtail post-operative activity and dogs with limb deformities may not be candidates for this technique. The rehabilitation period has been quicker than other CCL surgeries, with may dogs beginning to walk within days. Activity during the first 4 months is limited to leash walking.
For more information, call Beechnut Animal Clinic at 713-774-9731