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Cruciate Ligament Injury in Dogs-TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement)

Cruciate Ligament Injury in Dogs-TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement)

Cruciate Ligament Injury in Dogs

TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement)

In dogs, the knee joint is a frequent site of injury. In fact, the rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) is the most common orthopaedic injury in dogs.


cruciate ligament

A Dog after cruciate ligament surgery

The knee joint is a complex piece of bioengineering that connects the femur to the tibia. However, this union is relatively unstable because there are no interlocking bones in the joint; instead, a system of ligaments links the two bones so that they can function as a unit.

The cranial and caudal cruciate ligaments cross over within the joint, ensuring that the bones can only move in a limited area, preventing the tibia from sliding forward, away from the femur, when a force is applied to the leg.

When one or both ligaments are torn, the stability of the joint is compromised, which results in the bones moving in an abnormal fashion is relation to one another – leading to tissue damage, inflammation, pain and difficulty putting weight on the limb.


CCL rupture can be chronic or acute

–          Chronic rupture: is typically the result of degenerative changes in the joint

–          Acute rupture: usually results from a sudden, severe twisting of the joint

  • Risk factors

–          Obesity or excessive weight: the ligament can become weakened due to heavy loading on the joint

–          Breed/Age: although any dog can suffer from this injury, it is more common in middle-aged medium-to- large- breed dogs


Although activity restriction, weight loss, rehabilitation therapy or anti-inflammatories, are some of the non-surgical options that can be used to minimise the consequences of this injury, a torn cruciate ligament can only be corrected by surgery.

There are numerous surgical corrections that can be performed; in Paul Kelly Veterinary Surgery, the procedure used is the TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement), which is the newest procedure, and probably the best repair for most dogs.


  • What is TTA surgery?

TTA is a procedure that has to be performed by an experienced vet. In this surgery, a portion of the tibia is cut, thrust forward, and fixed in place with a metal plate and screws (once the bone has healed, the plate and screws are not needed, although they’re seldom removed unless there is an associated problem). This new orientation renders the knee relatively stable, independent of the role of the cruciate ligament.

  • Pre-operative care

Dogs need to be carefully evaluated before the operation. Following the initial examination, additional palpation under sedation or light anaesthesia may be necessary. Specific X-rays need to be obtained in order to determine the position of the cut on the bone, the amount it needs to be advanced and the size of implants to stabilise the bone in its new position.

  • Post-operative care

The post-operation period is extremely important to succeed. Exercise must be restricted during the first 6-8 weeks. The dog should be confined in a small room or quiet area and only short walks on lead are allowed, in order to go to the toilet. After a few weeks, exercise may be gradually increased.

If you think that your dog is having a difficulty with his knee joints give me a call and we can make arrangements to investigate the matter further, you can contact at my surgery at (01) 802 7604 or contact me through this website by clicking here

If you are interested in having your pet dog or pet cat spayed then read this article I posted about spaying your pet using keyhole surgery. Just click on this link Spaying by Keyhole Surgery

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