Dogs of any age can injure their knee. It can happen when chasing that elusive Frisbee or ball, running and stepping in a hole or playing too rough with a best friend. Sometimes you do not even know how it happened. Usually it is a twisting, turning injury. Torn cruciate ligaments are very painful, result in an unstable knee and most dogs benefit from surgery. Large, young, athletic dogs can return to a normal life style with the appropriate treatment.
What is a tibial tuberosity advancement [TTA]? This is a relatively new surgery to treat torn cranial cruciate ligaments in knees of larger dogs. The knee is stabilized during weight bearing [dynamic stabilization]. The tibial crest is osteotomized [cut] and moved forward until the tendon of the knee cap [patella] is perpendicular to the tibial plateau [top of the tibia].
I use titanium implants to keep the tibial crest advanced. Titanium is less reactive, strong and MRI compatible. The patient needs to stay very quiet for at least the first four weeks then gentle physical therapy can be started. Full recovery takes 3 to 6 months. I have had great results with this surgery. Complications can often be handled conservatively.
Every case is an individual. Please call your primary care veterinarian to ask if your dog is a candidate for TTA.
Dr. Lesley Phillips