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3076 Highway 14,
Millbrook, AL 36054

M-F 7:30 am - 12:00 pm
2:30 pm - 5:30 pm

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  • Orthopedic Surgery at Ark Animal Hospital in Millbrook AL

HomeVeterinary ServicesOrthopedic Surgery

Pet Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic surgery means the surgical repair of a pet’s bones or joints. Orthopedic Surgery is the most effective procedure for correcting an affected bone or joint and returning the patient to a normal state of health. At Ark Animal Hospital, we perform many types of orthopedic surgery, including:

Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Repair

One of the most common canine orthopedic disorders we treat is Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Injury or Rupture. The cranial cruciate ligament is one of the major knee stabilizers in dogs and cats, and is comparable to the ACL in humans. Just like humans, surgical intervention may be needed if your pet injuries or ruptures their CCL so your pet can return to normal activity.

What does a torn CCL mean?

The cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) is a strong, dense structure that connects the ends of two bones across a joint. Their main function is to stabilize the joint. The CCL plays a critical role in stabilizing the stifle (knee) against front-to-back forces, prevent internal rotation of the tibia bone and to limit hyperextension of the stifle. Once the cruciate ligament is torn, the femur slides down the sloped top portion of the tibia (tibial plateau), creating instability in the knee joint and pain.

What are the signs that my pet could have a cruciate injury?

What should I do if I think my pet might have injured his cruciate?

If your pet is exhibiting any of the above symptoms or you notice mobility issues in your pet, please bring your pet to us for an evaluation.

How is a cruciate ligament injury or rupture diagnosed?

We will perform a physical exam to check the stability of the knee joint and look for evidence of any lameness or swelling. Since CCL injury is painful, sedation might be needed in order to perform this examination. Depending on the results of the examination, radiographs might be taken to look for any arthritic changes or displacement of the bones. Radiographs may show subtle changes in the cruciate ligament that may not be obvious on a physical examination.

My pet was diagnosed with a cruciate injury but now is improving. Should I still have the surgery done?

Most dogs with an injured cruciate ligament show lameness after the initial injury and then start to improve. While there might be some improvement over several days, there usually is a dramatic decline in limb function over time. Any joint with instability will develop arthritic changes. There is no benefit to the wait and see approach. Stabilization of the joint soon after the injury has occurred is recommended.


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