Dr. Timothy Jordan is a skilled, respected, and certified veterinary orthopedic surgeon, providing a wide variety of advanced procedures for patients at Randall Veterinary Hospital as well as those referred from other veterinary facilities. He has performed over 3000 orthopedic surgeries in his career, and we are proud to now be a resource for these services in the community.
Those procedures include the various options for repair of the cranial cruciate ligament, or CCL.
It’s extremely common for dogs—especially older and overweight dogs—to rupture their CCL, which is found in the knee and is the canine equivalent of the human anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL.
When a dog ruptures this ligament, their knee joint becomes unstable and they will limp on the affected limb. Because CCL tears cause such significant mobility issues for pets, it’s important to get these injuries treated as quickly as possible.
To treat this condition, we recommend a procedure called a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy or TPLO for dogs weighing more than twenty pounds. For smaller dogs and cats, we repair the torn CCL using a technique called extracapsular repair or lateral suture.
Dr. Jordan has extensive experience in both procedures and will consult with you about the preferred method for your pet. The best surgical option for your dog will generally depend on the size and age of your dog.
Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)
A torn CCL results in painful instability of the knee joint. The Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) method of treating a torn CCL alters the geometry of the knee joint to make the joint stable. It involves making a cut in the tibia or shin bone and plating the bone in place. Once the bone is healed, the repair is permanent. Most dogs return to weight-bearing on the affected leg soon after surgery, but their activity needs to be partially restricted for six to eight weeks while the bone heals in place. It is a highly effective procedure and is the preferred procedure for most dogs weighing over twenty pounds.
Extracapsular (Lateral Suture) Repair
Extracapsular, or lateral suture, refers to a repair that is performed alongside the knee joint. After the knee joint has been inspected and damaged tissue cleaned up, a strong suture is placed on the outside of the joint that runs in the same direction as the original CCL. This suture provides stability in a very similar way to the CCL before it was torn. Although this method of repair can be performed on any dog, it tends to be best for dogs under 20 pounds. A period of restricted activity is required after this surgery.
Dr. Jordan also has experience with many other orthopedic procedures including:
- Medial Patellar Luxation (MPL)
- Fracture repair
- Meniscal (cartilage) repair
- FHO/TPO/DPO procedures for hip joints