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  • Author or Editor: Gregory S. Marsolais x
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Abstract

Objective—To determine the effects of early postoperative rehabilitation on limb function in dogs after surgery for ruptured cranial cruciate ligament (RCCL).

Design—Prospective clinical study.

Animals—51 client-owned dogs.

Procedure—Dogs weighing between 20 and 40 kg (44 to 88 lb) that had RCCL and medial meniscal injury were studied. After removal of the RCCL and complete medial meniscectomy, the stifle joint was stabilized by use of a lateral retinacular stabilization technique. Twenty-five dogs were included in a postoperative rehabilitation group, and 26 dogs were included in an exercise-restricted group. Limb function (peak vertical force [PVF] and vertical impulse [VI]) was determined before surgery and 6 months after surgery, using force platform gait analysis.

Results—Prior to surgery, mean PVF and VI in affected limbs were similar between groups. Six months after surgery, PVF and VI were significantly increased in dogs of both groups. However, PVF and VI in dogs in the rehabilitation group were significantly greater than those of dogs in the exercise-restricted group. At this time, differences in limb function (as measured by PVF and VI) between the repaired and normal limbs were not evident in dogs in the rehabilitation group. Conversely, limb function in the repaired limb of dogs in the exercise-restricted group was still significantly less than that of the normal limb.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Dogs that have surgery for RCCL and a torn medial meniscus benefit from postoperative rehabilitation; rehabilitation should be considered part of the postoperative management of these patients. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:1325–1330)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine hip, stifle, and tarsal joint ranges of motion (ROM) and angular velocities during swimming and walking in healthy dogs and dogs with surgically corrected cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) rupture.

Design—Prospective clinical study.

Animals—13 healthy dogs and 7 dogs with CCL rupture.

Procedure—Dogs with CCL rupture were enrolled in a postoperative aquatic rehabilitation program and evaluated 21 to 35 days after surgery. Dogs were filmed while swimming in a pool and while walking at a fast (1.3 m/s) or slow (0.9 m/s) pace on a treadmill. Maximal angles of extension and flexion, ROM, and angular velocities were calculated.

Results—In healthy dogs, swimming resulted in a significantly greater ROM in the hip joint than did walking, but in dogs with CCL rupture, ROM of the hip joint did not vary with swimming versus walking. For dogs in both groups, swimming resulted in significantly greater ROM of the stifle and tarsal joints than did walking, primarily because of greater joint flexion. Stifle joint ROM was significantly lower in dogs with CCL rupture than in healthy dogs, regardless of whether dogs were swimming or walking.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that following surgical management of a ruptured CCL in dogs, swimming resulted in greater ROM of the stifle and tarsal joints than did walking. This suggests that if ROM is a factor in the rate or extent of return to function in these dogs, then aquatic rehabilitation would likely result in a better overall outcome than walking alone. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:739–743)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association