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TTA Surgery for Cruciate Ligament Ruptures in Dogs

Cruciate ligament ruptures are a common orthopedic injury in dogs that may require surgery to repair. Here, our veterinarians at Vienna discuss cruciate injuries in dogs and how surgeries such as TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement) can help them get back on their feet and feel good again.

What happens when my dog sustains a cruciate ligament rupture?

The cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) is a connective tissue in the knee that connects and stabilizes the lower leg to the upper leg. It joins a dog’s tibia to the femur above. When torn, it results in partial or complete joint instability, pain, and immobility. CCL ruptures are the result of a torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in a dog's stifle (knee), which is equivalent to the ACL in humans.

What Are The Symptoms of a Cruciate Ligament Rupture in Dogs?

When it comes to cranial cruciate ligament tears in dogs, 80% of cases are chronic-onset ruptures caused by degeneration, which usually occur due to aging. This is most commonly seen in dogs ages five to seven.

Acute-onset ruptures are most commonly seen in pups four years or younger. These tears are caused by injuries a dog sustains while running around and living its daily life.

Symptoms of a cranial cruciate ligament rupture may include:

  • Crepitus (crackling noise of bones rubbing against each other)
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Hind leg extension while sitting
  • Pain when the joint is touched
  • Lack of motivation to exercise
  • Irritability
  • Restricted mobility
  • Stiffness after exercising
  • Swelling/Inflammation
  • Thick/firm feel of the joint
  • Weight shifted to one side of the body while standing
  • "Pop" sound when walking

If you notice any of the listed symptoms above, contact your vet and schedule an examination for your pup.

What is TTA surgery, and how does it work?

TTA surgery, specifically designed for dogs, aims to fix cruciate ligament ruptures, which are common knee injuries in canines. The cruciate ligament is an important part of the knee joint, helping to stabilize it during movement. When this ligament tears, it causes pain, lameness, and reduced mobility.

During TTA surgery, the tibial tuberosity, a bony prominence on the dog's shinbone (tibia), is repositioned. This repositioning changes the angle of the knee joint, reducing the strain on the damaged cruciate ligament. This alteration in biomechanics enables the dog's knee to stabilize without relying on the compromised ligament.

What does this surgery involve?

The TTA surgery process includes several key steps:

  • Pre-Surgical Assessment: Before surgery, your veterinarian will conduct a thorough examination, including X-rays, to assess the extent of the injury and plan the procedure.
  • Surgical Procedure: Under general anesthesia, an incision is made over the affected knee. The surgeon then cuts and repositions the tibial tuberosity, securing it with a specialized titanium or steel implant. This implant holds the bone in its new position, allowing it to heal correctly.
  • Post-Surgical Care: After the surgery, your dog will need to stay at the veterinary clinic for observation and initial recovery. Pain management and antibiotics are typically administered to prevent infection and manage discomfort.

Benefits of TTA Surgery

TTA surgery offers several advantages for dogs suffering from cruciate ligament ruptures:

  • Improved Mobility: By stabilizing the knee joint, TTA surgery helps restore your dog's ability to walk, run, and play without pain.
  • Faster Recovery: Compared to traditional methods, TTA surgery often results in a quicker recovery period, allowing your dog to return to normal activities sooner.
  • Long-Term Stability: The procedure provides a more permanent solution to knee instability, reducing the likelihood of re-injury.

Recovery After TTA Surgery For Cruciate Injuries in Dogs

Healing from TTA surgery is generally rapid.
  • 24 Hours Post Op: Approximately 50% of dogs that have undergone this surgical procedure will be walking by this time.
  • At 2 weeks, Most dogs will be able to bear moderate to complete amounts of weight on the leg.
  • By 10 weeks: The majority of the dogs will no longer be walking with a limp.
  • At 4 months: Most dogs will be playing as usual, with the only limitations being high-stress activities.
  • Within 6 months: Most dogs will be back to enjoying most activities as they had been prior to injury and surgery.
During the recovery process, it's important to focus on pain management and rehabilitation therapy to help your dog heal effectively. Your dog's veterinarian will work with you to create a comprehensive care plan before the TTA surgery takes place.

Dog TTA Surgery Cost

The cost of TTA surgery for dogs can vary widely based on factors such as geographic location, the surgeon's expertise, and the complexity of the case.  For more accurate pricing, please contact your veterinarian 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you concerned that your dog may have experienced a cruciate injury? Contact our vets in Vienna today to schedule a consultation.

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Hope Advanced Veterinary Center is always accepting new patients! Our board-certified vets and specialists are passionate about restoring good health to Vienna's pets.

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