Lateral Suture for Cruciate Ligament Repair

Lateral suture is an extracapsular repair (it takes place outside of the joint capsule). This procedure is used to eliminate the abnormal motion called drawer. The surgery utilizes monofilament nylon as the implant. The implant is placed from the lateral fabella to a point in the tibia. It is then tightened and crimped in a position that is tight enough to eliminate abnormal motion.

This procedure requires the formation of a fibrous tissue bridge across the joint capsule that will maintain stability of the joint over the life of the dog. The healing process takes about 8 weeks. This time is meant to allow the formation, contraction and maturation of a fibrous tissue bridge.

The CONS of the procedure are in large dogs whose weight is such that they elongate the nylon or break the nylon during the healing process. The breakage of the nylon too early in the healing process can lead to failure and return of drawer. Should breakage of the implant occur, it is possible to replace the implant without much difficulty and still have a positive outcome.

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