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Vet Surg. 2010 Feb;39(2):173-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-950X.2009.00628.x.

Comparison of short- and long-term function and radiographic osteoarthrosis in dogs after postoperative physical rehabilitation and tibial plateau leveling osteotomy or lateral fabellar suture stabilization.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61802, USA.



To compare short- and long-term functional and radiographic outcome of cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL) injury in dogs treated with postoperative physical rehabilitation and either tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) or lateral fabellar suture stabilization (LFS).


Prospective observational clinical study.


Medium to large breed dogs with naturally occurring CrCL injury (n=65).


Dogs with CrCL injury were treated with either TPLO or LFS and with identical physical rehabilitation regimes postoperatively. Limb peak vertical force (PVF) was measured preoperatively and at 3, 5, and 7 weeks, and 6 months and 24 months postoperatively. Stifles were radiographically assessed for osteoarthrosis (OA) preoperatively and 24 months postoperatively.


Thirty-five dogs had LFS and 30 dogs had TPLO. Radiographic OA scores were significantly increased at 24 months compared with preoperative scores in all dogs. Radiographic OA scores preoperatively and at 24 months were not significantly different between treatment groups. PVF was significantly increased from preoperative to 24 months among both treatment groups but not significantly different between treatment groups preoperatively or at 3, 5, 7 weeks, 6, or 24 months.


No significant difference in outcome as determined by ground reaction forces or radiographic OA scores were found between dogs with CrCL injury treated with LFS or TPLO.


LFS and TPLO remain good options for stabilizing stifles with CrCL injury with all dogs showing significant functional improvement. This study does not support the superiority of either surgical technique.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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