The stifle joint is one of the primary joints that supports the hind limbs and allows femorotibial articulation between the femoral condyle and proximal portion of the tibia.1 The portion of the stifle joint involved in femorotibial articulation does not effectively match the shape between the femoral condyle and the proximal tibial articular surface; therefore, its bone lacks stability, compared with that in the hip joint.2 Additionally, the tibial plateau of dogs slopes caudally, so a cranial force (referred to as the CrTT) develops on the tibial plateau surface when the tibia is pressed along its long axis by the femoral condyle.3 The magnitude of the CrTT is dependent on the amount of compression as well as the slope of the tibial plateau.3–5 This force always forms during weight bearing.4,6
The forces that oppose the CrTT are both active and passive.5 The active force is created by the biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus muscles, and the passive force is created by the CrCL and menisci.5 The primary restraining component for the CrTT is the CrCL, which is a static stabilizer.5 There are numerous reports of the anatomic and biomechanical features of the CrCL. Despite consideration that the biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus muscles act as a dynamic stabilizer, which theoretically opposes the CrTT, the authors are not aware of reports of such an effect in dogs. Additionally, in biomechanical studies that involved the use of canine stifle joints, the tensile force of the biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus muscles has not been reproduced. Furthermore, we were unable to find any reports that provided a description of the tensile force of the periarticular muscles, namely the quadriceps and gastrocnemius muscles, which appear to be related to the stability of the stifle joint with respect to the biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus muscles. However, in human medicine, the relationship between functions of the periarticular muscles (especially the quadriceps and gastrocnemius muscles and biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus muscles) and the CrCL, or recovery of knee joint function after CrCL rupture, has been extensively studied.7–16
The purpose of the study reported here was to evaluate the effect of tensile force on the periarticular muscles in a CrCL-deficient stifle joint. We hypothesized that the tensile force of the semitendinosus muscle would increase after CrCL transection.
Cranial cruciate ligament
Cranial tibial thrust
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Handycam, HDR-SR12, Sony Corp, Tokyo, Japan.
Rize Lock KL50, Rize Enterprises LLC, New York, NY.
Turnbuckle bright chromate, 2 mm, Yahata Neji Corp, Aichi, Japan.
T6S-30, SSK Co Ltd, Tokyo, Japan.
L350S-20, SSK Co Ltd, Tokyo, Japan.
AD-4932A-50N, A&D Co Ltd, Tokyo, Japan.
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