Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Question: ACL Repair becoming common?

Dear Dr. Schaeberle,

My boxer recently had surgery on his leg for a ligament tear in the knee. I was talking with some people at work today and it seems pretty common. What are your thoughts?




It is true that we are seeing more tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) than 20 years ago. However, recent research suggests a genetic component. And it so happens that the most popular breeds such as retrievers, boxers, and pit bulls are unfortunately all prone to an anterior cruciate ligament tear.

The good news is that most dogs that have an ACL tear recover well with surgery. The two most common methods of repair to the knee can be done at the Shiloh Veterinary Hospital. I personally prefer the less expensive procedure - the extracapsular (meaning on the outside of the knee joint) technique, which uses nylon to stabilize the knee internally. I have seen few complications over the years and have about a 95 -98% success rate when viewed a year later.

Very large dogs and active younger dogs may benefit form a more intensive repair, called a TTA (meaning Tibial Tuberosity Advancement), which is also done at the Shiloh Veterinary Hospital and by Dr. Schmidt at the
Patton Veterinary Hospital in Red Lion

Both surgeries have a recovery period, where your pet will need to be on strict rest for a few weeks to allow the knee to heal. Your surgical veterinarian will provide you with easy to follow guidelines for your pet’s individual needs.

Shiloh Veterinary Hospitals in Dover and Manchester, are proudly certified by the American Animal Hospital Association. Joining the Patton Veterinary Hospital in Red Lion as the only other hospital certified in the York area. In the US only 14 % of hospital qualify for certification.

Visit our website at
www.myshilohvet.com to learn more about these surgeries, go to our Pet Library under Resources and search "cruciate".

Email your questions to the

Thomas Schaeberle, V.M.D.

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