Cruciate ligament disease is the most common cause of hind limb lameness in dogs.
It can result in sudden and severe lameness with a ruptured ligament, but about 50% of the time it has a much more insidious onset with lameness that comes and goes, and you may notice your dog sitting with one leg out to the side. This condition tends to gradually worsen over several months until your dog is noticeably lame most days.
Cruciate disease causes pain and instability of the knee joint which then results in further soft tissue damage such as meniscal tears and also osteoarthritis.
Over the last 50 years, many different methods of repair have been tried. Most of these have come and gone as it became clear that they did not really give the satisfactory result we were after.
In the early 1990’s a new method known as a Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy (TPLO) began to evolve and after many years of modification, we now have a very well researched and critically evaluated procedure.
This procedure involves cutting and rotating the top of the tibia (shin bone) to a more level position and then fixing it in position with a bone plate.