Happy Saturday All!
Ten years ago Norman went through ACL surgery to repair a ruptured cruciate ligament (ok the surgery was just before Turkey day the year before), and in March 2005 Norman went to physical therapy to build the muscle back up in his back leg. I thought this was very important for any animal going through such a extensive surgery but more so for Norman as he was a competing athlete and I needed to get his leg back in working order so he could train and compete again with no set backs.
With the TPLO surgery, the surgeon actually cuts through the tibia and re-positions it to the correct angle. They then insert a metal plate to hold the bones together until they are healed. The plate will stay in unless it is causing a problem. The dog needs to be caged rested for 2 months then they are allowed to do more and more to build the leg back up again. You can read more about the surgery here.
Xray’s of Norman’s leg right after surgery. I took Norman to a specialty clinic in Madison, WI who had a physical therapist working with them. The physical therapist had a water treadmill which would be the best therapy for getting the leg muscle built back up. Norman loved the treadmill, Kris went into the treadmill with Norman to help keep him steady. She put peanut butter on the front wall to keep Norman focus, he thought that was pretty good but he really didn’t need it as he was just happy to be in the water with someone. You can see by the photos how happy he was.
After the treadmill therapy he then worked on strength exercises. Now I have the memory of a gnat but I think Norman was suppose to go under the rails and get the treat on the wooden steps.
Norman loved his visits with Kris. She did amazing work getting his leg back in shape. He was back training for hunt tests that April and never had a problem with that leg or his other leg. Some dogs will rupture one cruciate ligament and then will rupture the other one mostly due to poor conformation of the back leg and strain put on it from the other leg being fixed. Normans rupture was caused by a training injury that I saw so we were lucky he never did rupture his other one. The trainer was amazed at how well he did that next summer training, he thought his leg was better with the plate in it then it was before ;). If you have a big dog I highly recommend the TPLO cruciate surgery for the best results afterwards, especially if they are athletes.
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