Just like the ACL in humans, the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) is an important stabilizing structure in the knees of dogs and cats. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most common injuries seen by veterinarians. The CCL normally sits within the knee and is very important in the movement between the bones of the knee joint. In a healthy patient, the CCL prevents abnormal bone movement but with injury, the joint can become loose, which could lead to long-term problems.
Common symptoms include limping, swelling, stiffness, a clicking sound when walking and being unable to bend the knee. Depending on the severity of the injury, there are nonsurgical and surgical treatment options. One surgical technique is called a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) which rotates the top part of the tibia, eliminating the need for a CCL.
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