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  #11  
Old 08-03-2014, 07:03 AM
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I had the ex-cap on my dog that was 49 lbs. I've also had a TTA & TPLO on a dog 139 lbs. I have to say that all 3 surgeries were successful. I felt the ex-cap took longer for rehab over 10 weeks with slowly moving, walking, light jogging, etc... until fully healed. The TTA & TPLO still needed time to heal but the dog was to already put some pressure on the leg the next day.

I've known some people who do nothing and let the dog limp or not use the leg since they didn't want to do any surgery. I could not do this.

Whatever you decide, I'm sending lots of vibes.
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  #12  
Old 08-03-2014, 10:12 AM
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I have heard surgeons say that the long term outcome is the same regardless of the type of surgery that is chosen. But IME after a TTA or TPLO the recovery process is much shorter and the dogs are less likely to have long term problems with the knee. That's partially because the knee is super stable right away, but I think it's also partially because the dogs are using the legs more normally faster and so if people slack off on their aftercare (PT) it doesn't have as bad of an impact on recovery. The incidence of complications is very low, but having said that... when complications do occur they are spectacularly awful.

IME with the extra capsular repair, the dogs take longer to recover and I feel like I see long term minor nagging lameness more often. I think rather than a fault of the surgery, that's a fault of making sure the dog gets proper aftercare (PT and exercise). It's just so easy to think "oh he had surgery he's fixed." But, at least the worst that is likely to happen complication wise is that it doesn't fix the problem.

Personally I would probably go with a TPLO or TTA regardless of the size of my dog. They get back to using the leg SO much faster and I think that's so important for maintaining and rebuilding muscle mass and flexibility and preventing muscle contracture. If they are lame too long, a lot of these dogs end up with awful trigger points and knots in the quads along the front edge of the thigh that feel like they can be as hard to deal with as the cruciate tear was.

/.02
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  #13  
Old 08-03-2014, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
IME with the extra capsular repair, the dogs take longer to recover and I feel like I see long term minor nagging lameness more often. I think rather than a fault of the surgery, that's a fault of making sure the dog gets proper aftercare (PT and exercise). It's just so easy to think "oh he had surgery he's fixed." But, at least the worst that is likely to happen complication wise is that it doesn't fix the problem.
It really depends on the dog, as with any surgery. I know of an Amstaff that had the lateral suture technique done (dog has a lot of allergies and the vet was concerned about her rejecting the hardware from a TTA/TPLO, apparently). Her owner was SUPER diligent about recovery, did months of rehab with the dog. A few months after the surgery the dog came up lame again so she had to go back on strict rest, more rehab, etc. As far as I know, she's "okay" now, but they're still very careful.

So they technically did everything "right", but it still seemed like the dog had some issues despite that. It can happen with any surgery really, just seems to be a lot more commonly seen with the lateral suture.
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  #14  
Old 08-03-2014, 10:53 AM
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I think I mentioned this before, but Mira took a nasty fall last year (dove at full speed for a toy after laying on cool shady concrete for a good long while while I did chores, the toy bounced, she twisted after it still in a headlong dive and stepped in a hole, fell and tumbled tail over teakettle down the water drainage grade around the barn) and came up lame on a rear leg.

I took her in for x-ray first thing the next morning and it didn't show anything, vet thought it was very small tears in the cruciate but definitely not a full tear and probably not enough to call a partial. She prescribed Adequan shots and 100% crate rest (we even carried her out to potty and back).

I'm a paranoid person so also set an appointment with a widely recognized orthopedic specialist with particular interest in cruciate ligament work. Couldn't get in til the following week (8 days after injury) so followed the original prescription. By the time we walked into the specialist's office, x-rays in hand, she was no longer limping. The vet and his team worked her over thoroughly and had us moving all over and decided she had microtears in the ligament. Didn't do an ultrasound -- they offered but added that they were very confident. Prescribed four weeks of light duty -- leashed walks on level ground then moving to inclines and gaiting, etc. and recommended cold laser therapy if available. Eight weeks later, having done all that, she was working field and back in agility and passed her patella exam with flying colors and hasn't taken another misstep.

That said, she was in top working condition at the time of her fall (we had been working field + agility all summer), has good underlying structure (which according to the vets probably saved us given the nature of the fall), and we just, quite frankly, got lucky. And were fortunate enough to have a team of really good vets who knew what they were dealing with and how to correct it.

It sounds like you are dealing with a more serious tear. My real point is to decide whether you trust your vet, and if so, to follow their advice. Soft tissue injuries are hard to heal and generally the sooner you start the better. I know a lot of folks who have done TLPOs and many are successful -- especially the ones that didn't hesitate, that kept any extra weight off to help with healing and to prevent future injury, and who were religious about following the rehab protocol afterward.
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  #15  
Old 08-04-2014, 05:03 AM
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Zoe had a TPLO done 7 years ago, and I have never regretted it. She had a partial tear and we were waiting on a consult with the specialist when she tore it the rest of the way. There was no way she could have gotten around comfortably as she has without the surgery. She has never needed the other side done.

There are pros and cons on both sides, but keep in mind prolonged injury = more swelling = more damage, and probably more arthritis. Getting the TPLO doesn't increase risk of the other side going. Having a tear means your dog is likely to end up in that situation. For Zoe it is a structure issue, and probably her early spay before I knew better. But we are careful and have been lucky. She does have more arthritis in her opposite elbow from compensating, though.

It is a serious surgery with a brutal recovery, but it was that best thing I ever did for my girl. There's a podcast by Bad Dog Agility you might be interested in listening to. It talks about CCL tears and the TPLO.
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  #16  
Old 08-04-2014, 10:07 AM
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Thanks everyone.

Looks like surgery it is... now to find the funds.
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  #17  
Old 08-08-2014, 09:15 PM
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You have gotten some really good advice and info it looks like. I can not add a thing. But did want to say how sorry I am that you're having to go through this. It sounds like quite an ordeal. But it also looks like things can be made much better. I wish you all the best with this process and hope for a successful recovery.
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  #18  
Old 08-13-2014, 03:55 AM
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Let us know how things are going. If you do the TPLO, just know the first two weeks are HELL. Not to scare you, but the one thing I wished when I went through it was that I had known it would be that bad.

But, the mantra that got me through, was "It only gets better from here." Over and over. :-)
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  #19  
Old 08-13-2014, 06:35 AM
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I was lucky with Piper and her recovery from her TTA. It really wasn't bad at all, and she handled everything well. I never had to sedate her during the entire process either, which was nice. I mean it's kind of annoying to have to leash walk everywhere and at first I was afraid I'd "break" her, but once I got over the initial "OMG", it was fine.
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  #20  
Old 08-13-2014, 02:15 PM
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We've been continuing to rest... She had a Lyme test done today just to rule that out, we'll get the results in a couple days. If it comes back negative, time to go to the third vet, the surgeon I would want to do the TPLO.

Thanks again for the support, guys. It means a lot.
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