Poor Roxy ruptured a ligament in her knee joint called the cranial cruciate ligament. This ligament attaches the Femur (thigh bone) to the Tibia (shin bone) and prevents the Stifle (knee) from over extending or rotating as she moves. This kind of damage is not normally a result of a sudden injury, but is due to a weakening over time, a bit like a fraying rope. When the ligament ruptures it causes the dog to become lame, sometimes this lameness is intermittent and sometimes it is permanent from the time of rupture.
To fix the ligament Roxy needed to undergo surgery. Here at Hollyoak Vets Cambridge our surgeon, Sorcha, carried out this tricky orthopaedic operation. The surgery involved opening up her joint and removing the debris from the damaged ligament and surrounding cartilage. The joint was then closed, a synthetic support wire placed behind the knee and through the bone into the Tibia and the skin and muscle was stitched back around the joint. Roxy had a K laser treatment to stimulate blood supply to the surgical wound and encourage healing. Roxy was such a sweetie while she was in and had lots of cuddles when she woke up from her surgery. She took it all in her stride!
Roxy stayed in with us until late in the evening so we could make sure she had plenty of pain relief. When she went home she had to be rested in a crate for two weeks and could only go on short walks to the garden to go to the toilet 3-4 times a day. She also went home with strong pain killers and anti-inflammatories.
After the first 2 weeks Roxy could be exercised for up to 5 minutes three times a week and her owners were given exercises to help Roxy start to use the joint. This included very gentle stretching and massage to encourage weight bearing when standing, bicycling when laying down and gentle pressure applied to the underside of the foot with a flat hand.
Roxy has been attending Rehabilitation Clinics with our registered veterinary nurse, Jenna, to assist with Roxy’s progress.
It has been such a pleasure seeing Roxy go from strength to strength after her surgery and seeing her become stronger. Because of Roxy’s bravery and her amazing owners working hard to rehabilitate Roxy fully, she is our Star of the Month!