How to Treat Cruciate Rupture in Dogs

If your dog just ruptured (tore or stretched) its cruciate ligament, you are looking for alternatives. Is surgery the only thing you can do? Not at all, and in this webinar I explain options available to you.


The cruciate ligaments hold the joint together. If one of them breaks, it creates instability and pain. Suddenly, your dog is lame.


We diagnose this condition by palpating the joint and checking it for laxity. Radiographs may also be taken to see if arthritis is present.


We have two treatment options – medical (or conservative) and surgical. Let’s look at surgery first.


The surgical technique that has been used for decades is the lateral retinacular technique. In this surgery, nylon (often called fishing line) is used to create a band on the outside of the joint, mimicking the function of the ruptured cruciate ligament. I find this to be the most reliable as long as it is done by a competent surgeon.


There are some other surgical procedures. A TPLO became popular over a decade ago. Subsequent studies show there is no advantage over the old technique. Another one called a TTA is now being touted as the best, but it is still too early to tell if it is a better procedure or not.


Is not doing surgery an option? Definitely. In this webinar, I describe a program that works for me. It includes:


  • anti-inflammatory medication

  • a joint protectant

  • weight control

  • back adjustments and laser


The success of a medical approach was reported in the JAVMA in 2013 and they compared a 75% success with surgery to a 66% success with medical treatment, all in large dogs. But, they just used an anti-inflammatory medication and weight control.


Adding other treatments boosts success higher.

The key is this. If you have a dog with a ruptured cruciate ligament, do your research. Look into the alternatives available to you.