Force plate gait analysis to assess limb function after tibial tuberosity advancement in dogs with cranial cruciate ligament disease

Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2008;21(3):243-9.


Objective: To assess functional outcome in dogs with cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL) disease after tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA) using force plate gait analysis, and to evaluate parameters potentially influencing outcome.

Study design: Prospective clinical study.

Animals: Consecutive clinical patients (n = 37) with CrCL-deficient stifles (n = 40).

Methods: The stifle joints were examined arthroscopically prior to TTA. Meniscal release was not performed if the medial meniscus was intact. Open medial arthrotomy and partial meniscectomy were performed in the presence of meniscal tears. Vertical ground reaction forces were measured preoperatively and at follow-up examinations four to 16 months postoperatively (mean: 5.9 months). The ground reaction forces of a group of 65 healthy dogs were used for the comparison. The potential effects of clinical parameters on functional outcome were evaluated statistically.

Results: Complete CrCL rupture was identified in 28 joints, and partial CrCL rupture in 12 joints. The medial meniscus was damaged in 21 stifles. Vertical ground reaction forces were significantly higher at follow-up (P < 0.01), but remained significantly lower than those of control dogs (P < 0.01). Complications were identified in 25% of joints, and the dogs with complications had significantly lower peak vertical forces at follow-up than the dogs without complications (P = 0.04). Other clinical parameters did not influence outcome.

Conclusions: Tibial tuberosity advancement significantly improved limb function in dogs with CrCL disease, but did not result in complete return to function. Complications adversely affected functional outcome.

Clinical significance: A return to a function of approximately 90% of normal can be expected in dogs with CrCL disease undergoing TTA.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Arthroscopy / methods
  • Arthroscopy / veterinary
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Bone Plates / veterinary*
  • Dog Diseases / surgery*
  • Dogs / injuries
  • Dogs / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / veterinary
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stifle / pathology
  • Stifle / surgery*
  • Tibia / pathology
  • Tibia / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome