Mad Murphy’s torn cruciate

Murphy is a lovingly energetic Labradoodle who managed to injure his left back leg while playing like a mad thing in the park. His regular vet had identified the cause of the lameness; an injured cruciate ligament and referred him to NorthWest Veterinary Specialists to discuss treatment options. When Murphy presented to the hospital at only 6 months of age we knew we had a challenge on our hands. He was a big and bouncing puppy with an unusual presentation of a cruciate injury. Instead of the typical degenerative and progressive tearing that we usually recognise, Murphy had managed to detach the bone attachment site of the ligament.

Mad Murphy Image 1

Image 1

One treatment option for this problem is bone reattachment, but Murphy’s fragment was too small for this to be feasible. Instead we elected to stabilise his knee via modification of the tibial plateau levelling osteotomy (TPLO).

The typical TPLO technique is not suitable in puppies due to resultant damage to their open growth plates. Instead we performed a CORA-based TPLO which is a new approach to this problem in young dogs and preserves the growth plates by varying the orientation of the saw blade.

Surgery went to plan (image 1) and Murphy had an uneventful recovery. He was quickly using the leg and within a fortnight had no visible lameness. Murphy’s Mum and Dad performed the hardest job of the whole process by keeping him restricted during the first 6 weeks. He returned for reassessment and follow-up radiographs after this time (image 2) and was given a clean bill of health. He had managed to rapidly heal and completely remodel his bone. He has since returned to running in the park and we are hopeful that Mad Murphy will keep out of future orthopaedic trouble!