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Ruptured knee

November 10th, 2006, 12:48 PM
My dog, a poodle mix, is about 13 years old. He recently ruptured his hind knee chasing a squirrel.
With a dog this age, he is otherwise in good health, what are the chances that surgery on the knee will enable him to use the leg again so that i can take him for walks.

November 11th, 2006, 09:36 PM
When you say ruptured knee, do you mean your dog has a torn ligament ?

November 12th, 2006, 03:56 AM
Yep a rupture knee would a Cruciate Ligament tear.

And the chances are good but can vary on the percentage depending on the type of surgery done.

I had a 9 year old greyhound. Callie that I was planning to have the TPLO surgery on her but during the presurgery set of xrays films were taken of her hips as well since she was also have hip problems incase it was something that could be fixed at the same time and the knee since on the same side but bone cancer was found so we never had the surgery, but we did go thru some discussions about the surgery. Post recovery is very long could be 4 to 6 months , there are different methods of fixing one is recreating new ligaments and another method is call TPLO where the cut off the head off one of the bones and turn it and screw into place provide a new slope. I was give a choice of 2 surgeons to go to with a $700 difference between their fees, the reason was one did not have the equipment to do TPLO surgery so could only do the recreating ligament surgeries, the percent of success varied as well 7O% with just the ligament reacreation being she was a long limbed large breed or 90% full recovery with the one that can do TPLO surgery, the vet reccommended the higher priced surgeon since TPLO surgery has a higher rate of success, but the cost is considerably higher. The last part of the success of the surgery is keeping the dog of forced rest while in recovery which may mean crating most of the time at first and slowly building up the excercise months after the surgery, that would have been the tougher part for Callie so I was already getting her used to being in an xpen and keeping her on leash Full recovery means being able to use the leg with full motion, a non full recovery could go from not being able to use the leg or up being able to run with some lameness, the TPLO at least pretty guaranteed use of the leg. There was a racing greyhound who had cruciate surgery at the beginning of his career he had the surgery went through therapy not only raced again but ended up also running stake races(similiar in idea to horse racings triple derby) normally this kind of injury would be career ending but has since proved it does not 100% have to be.

Link for TPLO surgery
Dogs that have the TPLO done usually are putting the foot down within 7-10 days and are walking well in 6-8 weeks. Range of motion in the joint returns in 3-4 months after surgery

This is showing pictures of an actual surgery of the recreation of new ligaments(incase you are squeamish you may not want to open the link) but goes into some explanations, this surgery would take over 6 months to recover from with older dogs, overweight or larger longer limbed breeds taking even longer to recover from, so this surgery would be almost double the recovery time

I can see his age make the decision difficult, in some ways his age may be a bonus as long as you can keep him from chasing squirrels ;) obviously he is not old in heart or body, so you will need to be kept him on leash during the recovery, even with soreness some dogs will not be able to resist chasing a squirrel in their excitement(much like the greyhound who breaks their leg in a race will will be so keen on chasing the lure that the will get up ignore the pain and will continue to chase and finish the race) you can figure on at least the first few weeks that he will only be going out just for potty breaks while the bone fuses to the screws that are holding the new ligaments or repositioned bone in place, from there walks can start gradually short distance flat surface, later long and with slight inclines and progressing from there. And then in a couple more months he should be back to chasing squirrels and giving you a heart attack at the same time :rolleyes:

My suggestion is talk to your vet understand the difference in the surgeries, especially about success of recovery and what type he recommends and why, for smaller breeds often the ligament reconstruction is done the odds of success are a bit higher than for a long limbed big breed with surgery costs being less but is may be 7 or 8 months before he is fully recovered due to his age, if you can afford the higher cost of the TPLO surgery it may be worth it due to almost half the recovery time and will likely be able to do short flat even ground walks in 2 months, not sure if you have your location listed but winter weather will also be a factor to consider deciding what surgery, you may want to rig up or buy a sling from to help get him outside with out the risk of slipping and falling and redamaging the leg they also offer braces though quite expensive but would allow him to get around much sooner and protect the joint from being re-injured while recovering.


Edited to add:

I can now see that you are in London,
I can't recall the name of the ortho surgeon that was going to do Callies surgery and reviewed her xrays 3 years ago but I do know he was in London, the other surgeon who was $700 less who does just the ligament surgery is in Cambridge. Prices could be farther apart now as I have read that TPLO surgery cost have went up quite a bit since.

November 13th, 2006, 12:18 PM
My cat Lucy jumped down from the headboard of our bed and blew out both of her back knees. It was horrible. She could barely move and was in terrible pain. The first doctor I took her to could not even examine her because she was sooooo afraid and in pain. So I took her to a cat specialist and he sedated her right from the get go to be able to examine her.

He did perform surgery to reconnect the ligaments with something like a rubberband. I had to give her pain meds and keep her confined for about six weeks. She was a great little patient and is doing wonderful now. You wouldn't even know she had ever hurt her legs. Although every time she does a leap from the counter mom gets a bit nervous!!

Even though she was not as old as your dog they generally seem to heal nicely if otherwise healthy.:love: