Cruciate Ligament Surgery isn't just for footballers!

When Humphrey’s owners heard a cry of pain from their fit and energetic 6 year old Beagle they knew something wasn’t quite right. Humphrey had been playing ball when mid-strike something went wrong, not only did he let out a cry, he also couldn’t walk on his left hind leg afterwards.

Humphrey came in to the Blackburn Veterinary Centre walking on his three good legs. He was sedated and the sore leg was fully examined. It was found that Humphrey was very uncomfortable when his left hind stifle or ‘knee’ was examined. A specific manipulation test called the “anterior drawer” was performed and the positive results to this test confirmed that Humphrey had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. Humphrey’s concerned owners were keen to go ahead with surgery to repair the ligament and to limit the chances of long term arthritis and lameness.

Our orthopaedic surgeon performed an extracapsular repair on Humphrey. This involves placing a heavy internal suture near the knee joint to mimic the supporting role of the damaged cruciate ligament. Our surgeon was very happy with the condition of the joint and the outcome of the surgery was very positive. Humphrey went home on pain relief and will soon start a course of anti-arthritis injections. A long convalescence (a big recovery period) was recommended for Humphrey including four weeks strict bed rest followed by gentle regular physiotherapy and even hydrotherapy!

Humphrey impressed us by overcoming his fear of vet clinics and allowing us to help him. He has been a model patient and we wish him all the best with his long recovery. Remember! He’s in good company with all the footballers (Chris Grant, Paul Salmon and Andrew Johns) that have suffered from the exact same injury.

How can you stop this happening to your pet

Keep in mind that ball or frisbee chasing is a common cause of cruciate injury. Try to regulate your pet’s exercise so that it doesn’t involve lots of unbalanced leaps and sudden stops. All pets that have suffered from a cruciate injury are at higher risk of doing the same damage to the other leg or re-injuring the first again.