Risk factors for surgical site infection-inflammation in dogs undergoing surgery for rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament: 902 cases (2005-2006)

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2010 Jan 1;236(1):88-94. doi: 10.2460/javma.236.1.88.


Objective: To evaluate the incidence of and potential risk factors associated with development of postoperative infection-inflammation in a large number of dogs with rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) that were treated via elective surgery.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Animals: 808 dogs that underwent surgery (902 procedures) for rupture of the CCL.

Procedures: Medical records of dogs that underwent extracapsular lateral suture (ECLS) stabilization or tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2006, were reviewed. Data regarding development of postoperative infection-inflammation were obtained. Potential risk factors were identified and recorded.

Results: 496 ECLS surgeries were performed, and 406 TPLO surgeries were performed. Infection-inflammation developed in 55 of 902 (6.1%) surgeries within 6 months after surgery. There was a significant difference in infection-inflammation rate after the ECLS surgeries (21/496 [4.2%]), compared with rate after the TPLO surgeries (34/406 [8.4%]). Factors associated with a significantly lower rate of infection-inflammation included the use of suture material other than stainless-steel staples for skin closure and postoperative oral administration of antimicrobials.

Conclusions and clinical relevance: TPLO was associated with a significantly higher rate of infection-inflammation than the infection-inflammation rate after ECLS stabilization. The use of suture material other than staples for skin closure and postoperative oral administration of antimicrobials may be protective in minimizing infection-inflammation in dogs with rupture of the CCL that are treated via ECLS or TPLO.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Dog Diseases / etiology
  • Dogs / injuries
  • Dogs / surgery*
  • Female
  • Fracture Healing
  • Inflammation / epidemiology
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Osteotomy / adverse effects
  • Osteotomy / instrumentation
  • Osteotomy / methods
  • Osteotomy / veterinary*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Rupture, Spontaneous / surgery
  • Rupture, Spontaneous / veterinary
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology
  • Surgical Wound Infection / veterinary*
  • Sutures
  • Treatment Outcome