Cruciate Injury

Pet Cranial Injury at Serra Veterinary Hospital in Sunnyvale

Cranial cruciate injury is one of the most common causes of rear leg lameness in the dog. The cruciate ligament functions to prevent the femur and tibia from sliding back and forth on each other. Top of the tibia is called tibial plateau. During weight-bearing , the tendency of the femur is to slide down the tibial slope/plateau. The intact cruciate ligament stops this downward slide and stabilizes the knee joint. Cruciate ligament is under constant tension during weight-bearing. This stress on the ligament leads to eventual rupture. New research is showing that there is some degeneration in the ligament fibers before it completely ruptures. When it completely ruptures, affected dogs become suddenly lame on that leg.

Once the ligament is gone there is no stabilization force left to stabilize the knee joint. Combination of inflammatory factors and instability of the joint causes arthritis to develop quickly within the joint. Osteoarthritis gets worse progressively and it is debilitating if left untreated. Dogs start to bear only 20-30% of the normal amount of weight on the affected leg. As a result, the weight is shifted to the other rear leg placing even more stress on that limb’s cruciate ligament. Following is the radiograph of a dog with arthritis and joint effusion after eight weeks of ACL injury. Please check our Surgery section for ways to repair this injury.

Alternative Treatment to Pet Surgery, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) in San Jose Area

PRP is a treatment option our San Jose Area veterinarian utilizes for various orthopedic injuries and conditions, which have traditionally required surgery or other extensive treatments. PRP injections have been utilized in orthopedics with increasing frequency and effectiveness. Injuries currently being treated with PRP are arthritis of the hip, knee, shoulder, ankle and other joints. PRP is also utilized by veterinarians for pet soft tissue injuries such as tendonitis, muscle sprains and tears, and various types of ligament injuries. PRP facilitates the healing of muscles, tendons, ligaments, articular injuries, and meniscal injuries.