A cruciate ligament injury in dogs is a rather common occurrence. The knee is kept from sliding side to side by the medial and lateral collateral ligaments and from sliding forward by the cranial and caudal cruciate ligaments. The cranial cruciate ligament is damaged when the upper bone of the knee moves forward while the lower bone of the knee stays stationary. Slips, falls, and stepping in a hole are common causes of injury to the knee. The injury causes excess strain on the ligament and leads to stretching or even tearing of the ligament. This causes pain and instability in the knee, as the knee wants to slide back and forth each time the pet puts weight on the leg.
While there are several surgeries to correct this condition, Dr. Brett J. Pendergrass has chosen to offer the MMP surgery. Surgery is the best way to limit arthritic change in the knee and ensure the best use of the leg over time, especially in a larger dog. The MMP procedure uses a titanium foam wedge to advance the front of the tibia forward and help the patellar tendon stabilize the knee joint. The surgical procedure requires cutting the tibia bone and placing a titanium wedge, a pin, and a bone staple. Off-leash exercise can be expected in 8-10 weeks, as compared to the typical 16 weeks seen with other corrective surgeries. The majority of patients can return to unrestricted athletic activity after the recovery period.
Dr. Pendergrass chose to offer this technique because it is a less invasive, less traumatic surgery than the TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) and allows the patient to return to normal function more quickly. The results are comparable to the TPLO and the procedure costs 25% less.
If your dog has injured its cruciate ligament, please call our office to schedule a consultation. Our doctors will be happy to examine your dog and give you an opinion on whether your dog is a good candidate for the MMP surgical procedure.