Torn ACL and Orthozip Surgery

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most common orthopedic injuries that vets see in dogs. Any dog can get an ACL injury, but certain breeds like poodles, golden retrievers and german shepherds are more prone. Other predispositions to ACL injuries include male dogs neutered under five months old, overweight dogs and dogs with conformational abnormalities. It’s important to realize that ACL injuries in dogs don’t always occur during active activities, such as roughhousing or chasing. A simple movement, such as going down the stairs or jumping off the sofa can rupture the ACL. This ligament connects the femur to the tibia and stabilizes the knee joint. If it’s torn and untreated, it can cause progressive osteoarthritis in the knee joint, irreversible degenerative joint changes and lameness in the affected rear leg. Orthozip surgery is one of the least invasive methods for ACL.

Orthozip surgery is the placement of a strong nylon suture across the knee joint. And with just one incision needed, recovery is faster. While your pet heals, the suture stabilizes the knee. In the past, it was often used for smaller dogs under 50 pounds, but new techniques have made Orthozip surgery a viable option for larger dogs. The newer method entails using bones screws and a stronger suture material. Orthozip surgery is an alternative method for a torn ACL in canines. When a dogs tears its ACL, the femur bone rubs on the back of the tibia bone. This rubbing causes inflammation and pain. Most dogs with a torn ACL won’t put weight on the affected leg and will toe-touch the paw to the ground. Orthozip surgery stabilizes the ligament and knee. With stabilization, dogs can use the injured limb again. When compared to the TPLO technique, the Orthozip technique is less disruptive to body balance with a low incidence of secondary back problems.

Veterinary Care for Torn ACL

At Lakeview Animal Hospital, we use X-rays in conjunction with other diagnostic tools like ultrasound to diagnose torn ACL. Ultrasound uses sound waves to create detailed images of your dog’s internal structures. If the diagnosis is a ruptured ACL, we may do Orthozip surgery. Your pet will undergo blood work before the procedure to ensure the safe administration of anesthesia. Typically, we schedule animal surgeries in the morning. This way, our doctors can observe your pet’s recovery during the afternoon before release. We’re always available and happy to answer any of your questions or concerns. We will provide your furry companion with pain medication for a comfortable recovery and provide you with detailed post-operative care instructions. Plus, we will schedule follow-up appointments in order to monitor your pet’s recovery.