Poodle Gets Surgery For Torn Knee Ligament

The cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) is one of the main stabilising structures of the stifle joint (knee). CCL rupture (torn knee ligament) is the most common orthopaedic conditions in dogs which causes hind limb pain, lameness and subsequent arthritis


The cranial cruciate ligament is a fibrous tissue that connects the femur (thigh bone) with the tibia (lower leg bone). (ref: michiganveterinarysurgeons.com)


Once the ligament ruptures, the dog will become acutely lame due to severe inflammation that occurs within the joint. (ref: highdesertvet.com)

extracapsular suture repair is the most common 
orthopaedic procedure performed for small dogs (below 20kg) with CCL disease.

Dr Dennis Choi, Mount Pleasant Veterinary Centre (Gelenggang), performed an extracapsular repair on a poodle’s right hind limb to stabilise the stifle. An incision is made to open the joint capsule for examination.


The cranial cruciate ligament & meniscus are examined. Any torn or damaged portion is removed & the joint capsule sutured closed.


A tiny hole is drilled in the tibia.


A strong sterile suture is passed around the fabella behind the knee & through the hole drilled in the tibia. The suture is tightened to stabilise the knee by mimicking the action of the cranial cruciate ligament. Over time, the suture will induce scar tissue formation which also helps to stabilise the joint.

Post-operative care at home is critical.  Premature or excessive activities must be prevented. Physical rehabilitation (such as range-of-motion exercises and massage) and weight control would also help to speed up recovery and improve the outcome of surgery.

For larger or more active dogs, other surgical techniques like cranial tibial wedge osteotomy has better outcome. Read about 50kg Dandelion’s surgery here.