ACL Surgery

Animal Hospital Treatment for Painful Canine Ligament Issues

Have you ever torn your ACL, also known as your anterior cruciate ligament?  Suddenly putting weight on your knee becomes painful. Dogs can experience a similar kind of injury to their CCL, their cranial cruciate ligament, the canine equivalent of the ACL. The veterinarians at your animal hospital in McMurray, PA, Pleasant Valley Veterinary Clinic, have the tools for diagnosis and treatment that can help your dog walk and play normally again with a procedure known as lateral suture repair.

What are the signs your pet may need lateral suture repair?

When the CCL tears, the "knee" joint becomes painful. It becomes unstable, so your dog may walk and run on just three legs.  Although only your vet can confirm a diagnosis of CCL injury requiring lateral suture repair, you may notice these symptoms:

  • Limited range of motion.
  • Pain when extending a leg.
  • Swelling. 
  • Wobbling when petted. 
  • Your veterinarian would see instability in the leg when palpating it.

What is involved in lateral suture repair?

Your dog's torn CCL may be repaired with a suture, which is a strong filament for surgical use, placed from the lateral fabella (a small bone next to the femur) to your dog's tibial crest. This suture prevents the forward movement of the tibia relative to the femur by stabilizing it and preserves the normal range of motion of the knee.

Most dogs start rehab three days after surgery to ensure healthy weight bearing on the treated leg. You will need to make follow-up visits at the clinic during the first couple of weeks after the surgery to make sure there are no infections and the implant is stable. Even when your dog is fully recovered from the surgery, he will still need regularly scheduled visits to your veterinarians to make sure mobility is maintained and future arthritis is managed.

A lateral suture is primarily a procedure for dogs that weigh less than 40 pounds. There is another procedure called TPLO for larger dogs.

(Keep in mind that 50% of dogs that have one torn CCL develop the same problem in the opposite leg within 1 year.)  

Your animal hospital in McMurray, PA is ready to help.

At Pleasant Valley Veterinary Clinic, we treat pets like family. We offer veterinary treatment and a complete animal hospital for dogs, cats, small mammals, reptiles, and birds. Contact us online to request an appointment or call us at 724-941-5484. The offices and animal hospital of Pleasant Valley Veterinary Clinic are located at 211 E. McMurray Rd., McMurray, PA 15317.


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  • "Dr. Hart and Madison were ABSOLUTELY AMAZING with my dog. Both of them made me comfortable the entire time. My dog can be a bit overwhelming to those that don't know her because she LOVES people. I kept apologizing for her wanting to be hugged and so excited. It can be embarrassing sometimes. They both assured me that it wasn't a problem and they both actually showed love to her. That really made my heart happy! Thank you all so much I really appreciate it."
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