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Technique used in human ankle injuries modified to treat dogs' knees
Date:6/16/2008

COLUMBIA, Mo. A common sports injury in human knees is even more common in dogs. Each year, more than one million dogs suffer from cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) deficiency, which is comparable to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in humans. The common method of treatment by many veterinary surgeons involves cutting the tibia bone to stabilize the CCL-deficient knee in these dogs. Now, a new minimally invasive technique with less severe complications than previous methods has been developed by a University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine researcher.

Unlike humans, CCL injuries in dogs typically do not occur because of a single trauma to the knee but are the result of a degenerative process that leads to early and progressive arthritis. For this reason, and the unique biomechanics of the canine knee, techniques used to repair the injury in humans do not work well for dogs. The new technique, known as Tightrope CCL, is modified from a technique used in human ankles and allows placement of a device that stabilizes the CCL-deficient knee through bone tunnels drilled using very small incisions. MU veterinarian James Cook worked with Arthrex Inc. from Naples, Fla., to develop and test the Tightrope device for dogs.

"Other current techniques require major surgery that involve cutting the bone, which can potentially lead to severe complications, such as fracture, implant failure and damage to the joint," said Cook, professor of veterinary medicine and surgery and the William C. Allen Endowed Professor for Orthopedic Research. "This new technique is minimally invasive, relatively easy to perform and cost effective compared to other techniques. The dogs in the preliminary trial study experienced fewer and less severe complications with outcomes that were equal to or better than those seen with the bone-cutting technique."

Cruciate ligament tears are five times more common in dogs than humans and cost U.S. pet-owners mor
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Contact: Kelsey Jackson
JacksonKN@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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