Objective—To determine the outcome and effect of surgical technique on limb function after surgery for rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament (RCCL) and injury to the medial meniscus in Labrador Retrievers.
Study Design—Prospective clinical study.
Animals—131 Labrador Retrievers with unilateral RCCL and injury to the medial meniscus and 17 clinically normal Labrador Retrievers.
Procedure—Affected dogs had partial or complete medial meniscectomy and lateral suture stabilization (LSS), intracapsular stabilization (ICS), or tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO). Limb function was measured before surgery and 2 and 6 months after surgery. Treated dogs were evaluated to determine the probability that they could be differentiated from clinically normal dogs and tested to determine the likelihood that they achieved improvement.
Results—No difference was found between LSS or TPLO groups, but dogs treated with ICS had significantly lower ground reaction forces at 2 and 6 months. Compared with clinically normal dogs only, 14.9% of LSS-, 15% of ICS-, and 10.9% of TPLO-treated dogs had normal limb function. Improvement was seen in only 15% of dogs treated via ICS, 34% treated via TPLO, and 40% treated via LSS.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Surgical technique can influence limb function after surgery. Labrador Retrievers treated via LSS, ICS, or TPLO for repair for of RCCL and medial meniscal injury managed with partial or complete meniscectomy infrequently achieve normal function. Results of LSS and TPLO are similar and superior to ICS. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:232–236)