Cruciate ligament tears are common knee injuries and Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA) surgery is one of the ways this condition can be treated. Harrisonburg Animal Hospital now offers this advanced surgical intervention to our patients!
What is a TTA?
Tibial Tuberosity Advancement is a surgical treatment for cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL) injuries and the biomechanical rationale of TTA is that a forward shift in the position of the tibial tuberosity counteracts the instability created within the stifle (knee joint) following a CrCL tear. Titanium implants are used to secure the tibial tuberosity so that the patellar ligament is perpendicular to the tibial plateau. TTA and TPLO's both provide excellent limb use and a great long-term prognosis. They are the ideal surgical approach for medium and large breed dogs, as well as active dogs. Using titanium implants also lends to superior biocompatibility.
What does a Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA) surgery involve?
In the simplest terms, the front part of the tibia is cut and separated from the rest of the tibia. A titanium orthopedic spacer is screwed into the space between the two sections of bone to slide the front part of the lower knee forward and up. This moves the patellar ligament (the thick fibrous band that runs on the front of the knee from the top to the bottom of the joint) into better alignment, thereby removing some of the abnormal sliding movement. A bone plate is then attached to hold the front section of the tibia in the proper position. By changing the alignment of the patellar ligament, the forces that cause the femur to slip backward when the CCL is torn instead move straight down the tibia, resulting in less shearing force and instability.
How long will it take for my dog to recover from TTA Surgery?
* Healing from TTA surgery is generally rapid.
* About 50% of all canine patients will begin walking on the leg within 24 hours after surgery.
*2 Weeks postoperative, most dogs are bearing moderate to complete amounts of weight on the affected limb.
*At 10-12 weeks, most dogs have no noted gait abnormality.
*After post-surgical xrays are taken at 12 weeks, the majority of dogs can released to walking and playing normally (stressful activites remain restricted until 6 months post op).
*Incorporating rehabilitation and passive range of motion into your dogs recovery plan is very valuable to timely healing. Harrisonburg Animal Hospital can help incorporate some at-home exercises and therapeutic laser treatment into your pet's recovery plan.
Is TTA better than other types of CrCL surgeries?
*The TTA surgery is preferred over older procedures such as Extracapsular repairs (i.e. Lateral Fabella repair) for larger or athletic dogs. These patients tend to heal faster and resume normal activities quicker, as well as retain a better range of motion in the stifle. Our veterinarians will help guide you on the best surgical option for your pet.