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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2005 Nov 15;227(10):1604-7.

Estimate of the annual economic impact of treatment of cranial cruciate ligament injury in dogs in the United States.

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  • 1Department of Animal Sciences and Center for Integrated Animal Genomics, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames 50011-1250, USA.



To estimate the economic impact to veterinary clients for the medical and surgical treatment of rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament (RCCL) in dogs for the year 2003.


Economic impact survey.


501 diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) indicating that their area of surgical emphasis was small animal orthopedic surgery or small animal general and orthopedic surgery and 4,000 veterinarians indicating to the AVMA that their professional area was small animal practice exclusive or mixed animal practice (at least 80% small animal).


Veterinarians were surveyed concerning the cost for medical and surgical treatment of RCCL for 2003. The economic impact was calculated by multiplying the number of RCCL surgeries performed by the mean cost of surgery. This was added to the number of RCCL cases managed medically multiplied by the mean cost of medical management. This estimate for survey responders was extrapolated to the total number of veterinarians in the study population for the ACVS or AVMA.


Estimates for the total cost of surgery were $171,730,134.72 and $1,020,167,907 for veterinarians in the ACVS and AVMA populations, respectively. The cost of medical management was $2,885,687.86 and $126,558,155.16 for veterinarians in the ACVS and AVMA populations, respectively. After combining the ACVS and AVMA populations, we estimated that owners spent $1.32 billion for the treatment of RCCL in the United States in 2003.


RCCL is a prevalent, costly injury. Results may motivate veterinary and consumer agencies to prioritize funding for a better understanding of the injury.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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