Aruma is a 2 year old Kelpie X with boundless energy! She loves to do everything in fast-forward; running, sniffing, greeting, even cheeky kisses when you’re not watching! All this fast-paced activity put a lot of wear and tear on Aruma’s knee, specifically her cruciate ligment.
The cruciate ligament is a ligament inside the knee; it connects the tibia (shin-bone) to the femur (thigh-bone). When a dog puts pressure on their back leg, the femur naturally wants to slide backwards and the tibia forwards; we call this ‘tibial thrust’. The cruciate ligment stabilises this movement and helps stop the bones from slipping and sliding around. All dogs naturally have a lot of pressure on their cruciate ligament; it’s just the way they are made! Cruciate disease is very common in dogs.
When Aruma became acutely lame, our vets were suspicious of a cruciate problem. So we sedated Aruma to take some x-rays and had a good feel of her knee. When we felt the bones moving against each other more than they should, the cause of her pain was confirmed. Aruma would need surgery!
Aruma, being greater than 10kgs, would be requiring a TPLO (tibial plateau levelling osteotomy). This procedure aims to change the angle at which the bones of the knee meet; changing the biomechanics of the knee and effectively eliminating the need for a cruciate ligament altogether. This is a very technical procedure and so Aruma was scheduled in with our veterinary surgeon and assisting veterinarian to do her surgery.
As a part of the surgery, the damaged cruciate ligament was also removed, as it was causing inflammation, damage and pain to the joint. This is to help improve Aruma's long term recovery (unfortunately this knee is almost certainly going to develop arthritis), as well as a lot of immediate post-operative care.
Aruma was a model patient and allowed us to apply ice packs and perform physiotherapy without any trouble. In fact, her post-operation recovery was so good that we had to be extra careful not to let her bounce around because she was feeling so good!
Aruma went home the next day and we know that the next 6 to 8 weeks recovery will be very long for Aruma; no running, bouncing, or jumping for cheeky kisses!