Orthopedic injuries are at the top of the list for the most common ailments in dogs. Luxating patellas, or kneecaps, can go hand-in-hand with torn cranial cruciate ligaments, which are similar to a human athlete’s anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Fortunately for our patients, the queen of knees has joined the staff here at Williamsburg Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Kantor’s surgical skill and expertise will help your pet quickly heal and get her on the road to recovery at a fraction of the cost charged by specialty facilities. There are various surgical procedures performed on these two common knee issues, but Dr. Kantor has perfected her techniques to aid your pup in a speedy recovery.
Cranial cruciate ligament repair
We’ve all heard about a friend’s dog “blowing out a knee” or seen it happen to our own pet. During a wild sprint across the backyard, your dog suddenly pulls up lame, gimping back to you on three legs.
After chronic degeneration of the cranial cruciate ligaments, which hold the bones of the leg in place, a rupture can occur, snapping those bands that keep the knee stable. While also painful, the major issue here is the instability in the knee joint. Every time your pet attempts to put weight on the injured leg, the bones slide, giving out as they try to walk. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to surgically correct this most common orthopedic injury:
- Small dogs under 10 to 15 pounds may heal without surgery
- Tibial plateau leveling osteotomy
- Tibial tuberosity advancement
- Lateral extracapsular suture
A treatment plan will be developed based on the size of your pet and their activity level. If your pet is an ideal candidate for a surgical procedure, surgery is recommended as soon as possible to relieve pain and reduce the likelihood of permanent, irreversible joint damage.
Medial patellar luxation surgery
Unlike with a cruciate injury, patellar luxations are caused by congenital malformations. This congenital defect causes an abnormal amount of force on the kneecap, or patella, causing it to slide out of its groove. When the patella shifts out of its normal position, your pet may have difficulty bearing weight on that leg, although there are rarely signs of pain. You may notice your dog kicking their leg to the side to snap the patella back into place.
In the lower grades of this injury, the patella can pop back into place or can manually be put back into position. The highest grade classifies the patella as being persistently displaced and unable to be replaced. Surgical correction is usually required at the higher grades. Several techniques are available, depending on what is causing the issue. Surgery may be performed to:
- Correct the soft tissues surrounding the patella
- Correct the bones and the way they grew
- Deepen the trochlear groove to better hold the patella in place
- Position the patellar ligament and tibia in a way that allows the patella to be correctly aligned in the trochlear groove
Toy and small-breed dogs tend to have luxating patellas because of congenitally shallow trochlear grooves. Breeds that have bowed legs also experience luxating patellas. The breeds most commonly affected by luxating patellas include:
- Toy poodle
- Bichon frise
- Boston terrier
- Yorkshire terrier
Kantor knee surgeries
Dr. Kantor is well-versed in handling crippling knee injuries and will make the best decision pertaining to the appropriate treatment for your pet. Her “Kantor Knee” surgeries lead to less pain, have a quicker recovery period, and are more cost-effective than those found in specialty hospitals.
In addition to a “Kantor Knee” surgery, there are many home care treatments to help alleviate joint pain and discomfort, such as:
- Maintaining an ideal weight
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories
- Glucosamine and chondroitin
- Omega 3 fatty acids
- Low-impact exercise, such as swimming
Think your pup may have an injured knee? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Kantor to get your canine companion up and running again.