Canine Cruciate Ligament Injuries
Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injuries to the dogs’ knee (stifle) is one of the most common causes of canine hindlimb lameness.
Typically this disease is degenerative, however, injuries can also be caused by traumatic incidents.
CCL problems are frequently reported in medium to large breeds with an average age between 6 – 8 years old. However breeds of any size and age can also be affected.
Benefits of Physiotherapy for Torn Ligaments in Dogs
Following surgery (both stabilisation and TPLO), studies show that “post-operative rehabilitation, improves range-of-movement and that long-term these exercises should be continued”.
Physiotherapy aims are to improve;
- The muscle strength of the primary stance group, namely the quadriceps and hamstrings muscles
- The tone of these muscles reduces the potential for osteoarthritis
These aims are achieved by a mixture of electrotherapy, treadmill walking, massage, stretching and targeted ‘weight-bearing’ exercises. The continuing assessment of treatment programs are achieved by a combination of reviewing the joint movement, muscle tone, weight bearing, sitting / lying positions and the dog’s ability to move into the stand position.