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Noninvasive, computer-assisted, three-dimensional kinematic gait analysis was used to describe lameness in a chronic model of cranial cruciate ligament rupture (CCLR) in dogs.


Hind limb lameness was evaluated prior to and at 1, 3, and 6 months after transection of the cranial cruciate ligament.


Seven clinically normal large dogs.


Dynamic flexion and extension angles and angular velocities were calculated for the coxofemoral, femorotibial, and tarsal joints. Distance and temporal variables were determined. Essential Fourier coefficients were used to develop mean flexion extension curves for all joints and to compare changes in movement that developed with CCLR over time.


Each joint had a characteristic pattern of flexion and extension movement that changed with CCLR. The femorotibial joint angle was more flexed throughout stance and early swing phase of stride and failed to extend in late stance. Angular velocity of the femorotibial joint was damped throughout stance phase, with extension velocity almost negligible. The coxofemoral and tarsal joint angles, in contrast to the femorotibial joint angle, were extended more during stance phase. These changes were documented as differences noted in the essential Fourier coefficients. Stride length and frequency also varied significantly after CCLR.


Cranial cruciate ligament rupture affects movement of the coxofemoral and tarsal joints, as well as the femorotibial joint, in gait. A pattern of joint movement may be discerned in which the coxofemoral and tarsal joints compensate for the dysfunction of the femorotibial joint.

Clinical Relevance

Methods were developed that will improve objective evaluation of CCLR and its treatment in dogs. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:120-126)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research