Objective—To measure the angles between the patellar ligament and the tibial plateau and between the patellar ligament and the common tangent at the tibiofemoral contact point (TFCP) in stifle joints of dogs with partial rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL) for comparison with data obtained for stifle joints in dogs with intact CrCLs.
Sample Population—60 stifle joints of 54 dogs with surgically confirmed partial CrCL rupture.
Procedures—Mediolateral radiographic views of the stifle joints were obtained, and the angles between the patellar ligament and the conventionally defined tibial plateau (angle γ) and between the patellar ligament and the common tangent to the TFCP (angle α) were measured at incidental stifle joint flexion (angle β) by 2 independent observers. Data underwent linear regression analysis and were compared with findings in joints of dogs without degenerative joint disease.
Results—In stifle joints of dogs with a partial rupture of the CrCL, angles γ and α were 5° and 2° larger than each corresponding angle in healthy canine joints. At 100° of flexion, the patellar ligament was perpendicular to the conventionally defined tibial plateau. At 110° of flexion, the patellar ligament was perpendicular to the common tangent at the TFCP.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In dogs, stifle joints with partially ruptured CrCLs have marginally larger angles between the patellar ligament and the tibial plateau, compared with joints with intact CrCLs; at equivalent angles of flexion, comparatively greater shear force affects the CrCLs in stifle joints with partial CrCL ruptures.