Boris is a lovely 2year old Boerboel. He visited recently with an acutely lame left hind leg,  Martin suspected he had ruptured his cruciate ligament. Radiographs were recommended, these alongside a further examination confirmed the original diagnosis.

This ligament is a band of tough fibrous tissue that attaches the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone).  It prevents the femur moving backward relative to the tibia and helps to prevent over-rotation (inward) of the knee joint.

Cranial cruciate ligament disease is caused by degeneration or fraying of the ligament (similar to fraying of a rope).  The exact cause of this is not known but there appears to be some genetic factors linked to the development of the disease.  The fraying of the ligament causes inflammation within the knee.

There are several different treatment options available, the best approach for Boris was to perform a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO).  This surgery involves a semi-circular cut in the top of the tibia, the segment is then rotated to change the slope of the top of the tibia.  The bone is then fixed in place with a plate and screws in the new position. Boris weighed 75kgs, requiring not just one but two orthopaedic plates to ensure he healed appropriately.

Dr Martin Hobbs performed Boris’ procedure with Dr Rupert Davenport assisting. Post-operative radiographs revealed excellent positioning of the implants and Boris recovered very well from his procedure.  He was hospitalised over-night for monitoring and pain relief and was discharged home to his owner the next day.

Boris will have an initial 6 week period of restricted activity, then follow up radiographs will be planned to allow a clinical assessment of the limb and make a recuperation plan moving forwards.  In the vast majority of cases animals can usually start to increase their activity levels following this visit and may also benefit from physiotherapy and hydrotherapy at this stage.

The aim is for a full return to exercise 3 to 4 months following surgery.

For further information on Cruciate Disease & TPLO procedure please visit our dedicated page