Alfie – Orthopaedics



4 years 

6 months old 

Border terrier 

Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture (CCLR) 


Alfie became suddenly lame after running and chasing a ball. Although the lameness improved with some pain relief, it did not completely resolve. On examination at the hospital Alfie's stifle (knee) was swollen and painful. Particular tests for the stifle revealed some instability compatible with CCLR. 


Radiographs of Alfie's stifle confirmed CCLR and a very steep slope within the knee, contributing to the instability following rupture of the ligament. CCLR is the most common cause of hind limb lameness in the dog. The ligament often fails due to a degenerative process, where it gets progressively weaker before it eventually snaps. This can be treated in multiple ways, however surgery is often necessary. Based on the current available evidence, the tibial plateau levelling osteotomy procedures appear to be superior, where the geometry of the stifle is altered to allow the patient to stabilise their stifle without an intact cruciate ligament. Here, Alfie underwent a Cranial Closing Wedge Ostectomy stabilised with a locking compression plate. 


Alfie is currently several weeks through his recovery and moving around well on his leg again. His post-op radiographs are scheduled for 6-8 weeks after his operation, after which the bone should be healed and he will be able to steadily resume his normal exercise!