A bit more time and rest is all Rita needs now

Rita is a sweet, 8 and a half year old Bichon Frise who had started limping on a hind leg after normal activity and no known trauma. She didn’t right herself after 2 days of rest and, upon visiting us at the clinic, a soft tissue injury to her knee was suspected.

Full assessment of a knee joint can be quite painful and difficult when there is an injury, as the patient tenses the soft tissues due to pain and can alter the subjective laxity assessments made by the vet in a consultation. Rest, anti-inflammatories and additional pain relief could not relieve Rita’s discomfort so a more specific diagnosis was sought. Rita’s radiographs and examination under sedation were consistent with a partial cruciate ligament tear. 

Cruciate ligament disease is the most common cause of hind leg lameness in the dog. One of the two crossed-over ligaments within the knee is damaged due to sudden stress and tear or gradual wear and overuse.  Without an intact cruciate ligament, the stifle is unstable and painful. Arthritis develops quickly with the altered stress and inflammation within the joint. Surgical exploration and correction is usually required, with several techniques described.

Dr Andrew repaired Rita’s cruciate by a surgical procedure called a TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Ostectomies). He was very pleased at Rita’s quick and comfortable recovery to her stifle surgery in April. It will be another one to two months before Rita can embark on long 30 minute walks again, but thanks to the advanced TPLO technique her recovery and return to function will all be maximised and the progression of arthritis minimised..

Rita proved herself a star healer and model patient, walking with barely a limp just one week after major orthopaedic surgical treatment for cruciate ligament disease.