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Complications associated with lateral fabellotibial suture surgery for cranial cruciate ligament injury in dogs: 363 cases (1997–2005)

Sue A. Casale DVM1 and Robert J. McCarthy DVM, DACVS2
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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

Abstract

Objective—To report the complication rate for a commonly performed procedure (lateral fabellotibial suture [LFS]) used in the treatment of dogs with cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injury.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—305 dogs evaluated for 363 incidents of CCL injury from January 1997 through December 2005 and treated with LFS.

Procedures—Medical records were reviewed for information on breed, sex, age, body weight, clinical history, duration of surgery and anesthesia, primary surgeon, percentage of ligament tear, condition of medial meniscus, unilateral versus bilateral disease, implant material, duration of follow-up, and perioperative and postoperative complications.

Results—363 LFS procedures met the criteria for inclusion in the study. Complications (n = 65) were recorded for 63 of the 363 (17.4%) surgical procedures. Multiple complications developed in 2 dogs. In 26 (7.2%) dogs, a second surgery was required to manage the complications. Breed, side on which surgery was performed, implant material, percentage ligament tear, meniscal condition and treatment, bandage use, perioperative antimicrobial use, and experience of surgeon did not influence the complication rate. Factors significantly associated with a higher rate of complications were high body weight and young age of dog at the time of surgery.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—LFS is associated with a lower perioperative and postoperative complication rate than has been reported for other surgical procedures to repair CCL injury. Heavier and younger dogs had more complications. Complication rate must be considered when choosing a surgical treatment for dogs with CCL injury.

Abstract

Objective—To report the complication rate for a commonly performed procedure (lateral fabellotibial suture [LFS]) used in the treatment of dogs with cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injury.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—305 dogs evaluated for 363 incidents of CCL injury from January 1997 through December 2005 and treated with LFS.

Procedures—Medical records were reviewed for information on breed, sex, age, body weight, clinical history, duration of surgery and anesthesia, primary surgeon, percentage of ligament tear, condition of medial meniscus, unilateral versus bilateral disease, implant material, duration of follow-up, and perioperative and postoperative complications.

Results—363 LFS procedures met the criteria for inclusion in the study. Complications (n = 65) were recorded for 63 of the 363 (17.4%) surgical procedures. Multiple complications developed in 2 dogs. In 26 (7.2%) dogs, a second surgery was required to manage the complications. Breed, side on which surgery was performed, implant material, percentage ligament tear, meniscal condition and treatment, bandage use, perioperative antimicrobial use, and experience of surgeon did not influence the complication rate. Factors significantly associated with a higher rate of complications were high body weight and young age of dog at the time of surgery.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—LFS is associated with a lower perioperative and postoperative complication rate than has been reported for other surgical procedures to repair CCL injury. Heavier and younger dogs had more complications. Complication rate must be considered when choosing a surgical treatment for dogs with CCL injury.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Casale's present address is Angell Animal Medical Center, 350 S Huntington Ave, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130.

The authors thank Dr. Lisa Freeman for assistance with statistical analysis.

Address correspondence to Dr. Casale.