Incidence and type of meniscal injury and associated long-term clinical outcomes in dogs treated surgically for cranial cruciate ligament disease

Vet Surg. 2014 Nov;43(8):952-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-950X.2014.12220.x. Epub 2014 Jun 7.


Objective: To evaluate factors related to meniscal pathology and their effect on clinical outcome in dogs treated for cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) disease.

Study design: Prospective cross-sectional study.

Animals: Dogs (n = 163) with CCL disease (n = 223 stifles).

Methods: CCL disease was treated by (1) arthroscopy and TightRope (TR) stabilization; (2) arthroscopy and tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO); or (3) open arthrotomy and TPLO. Incidences of concurrent and subsequent meniscal tears, meniscal treatments, mid-(6 months) and long-(>1 year) term outcomes by owner assessment were compared among surgical treatment groups.

Results: Concurrent meniscal tears were diagnosed in 83% of stifles assessed by arthroscopy and 44% of stifles assessed by arthrotomy, with concurrent tear diagnosis being 1.9 times more likely by arthroscopy than arthrotomy (P < .001). Incidence of diagnosis of subsequent meniscal tears was 6.7% with median time to diagnosis of 5.8 months. Differences in proportion of subsequent meniscal tears among treatment groups were not significant (P = .69). Subsequent meniscal tears were diagnosed in 21% of cases without concurrent meniscal tears, but only 1.3% of cases with concurrent meniscal tears (P < .001). Cases treated with meniscal release did not have subsequent meniscal tears, whereas dogs not treated with meniscal release had a subsequent meniscal tear rate of 11% (P = .0013). Cases diagnosed and treated for concurrent meniscal tears were 1.3 times more likely to have a successful long-term outcome (P = .007).

Conclusions: CCL surgical technique did not affect subsequent meniscal tear rate or mid-term or long-term functional outcomes, whereas diagnosis and treatment of concurrent meniscal tears did significantly affect both.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Arthroscopy / veterinary
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dogs / injuries
  • Dogs / surgery*
  • Female
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Menisci, Tibial / pathology*
  • Missouri / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Postoperative Complications / veterinary
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rupture / epidemiology
  • Rupture / veterinary
  • Stifle / surgery*