Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Molly's Road to Recovery

Meet Molly.  She is a 6 year old Bouvier cross who recently tore the cruciate ligament in her knee.  This is a relatively common injury in big dogs and in fact it is the second time Molly has done it (fortunately she only has two knees to rupture!).  It is now believed that there is a genetic factor involved as 40-60% of dogs that rupture one ligament will rupture the second one within 2 years.

The first time around Molly had a traditional surgical repair in which an artificial ligament was placed in the knee.  Since then, surgeons have developed and perfected a new technique called a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO).  This surgery involves cutting and repositioning the top portion of the tibia bone thereby changing the angle of the knee joint and eliminating the need for the cruciate ligament.  A metal plate is used to reconnect the bone.  This newer surgery has proven to have excellent recovery times and fewer post-op complications than the traditional repair.

Molly's pre-op xray is used to calculate the current angle of her knee joint

An xray after surgery shows the metal plate and the new configuration of her knee.

Now that the surgery is finished, the real work begins! Molly will require a diligent physical therapy program to ensure she regains full use of the knee and prevent muscle loss during recovery.  Keep watching the blog as we follow Molly through her rehab program here at Royal City.

To learn more about the TPLO procedure click here

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