Objective: To assess weight bearing of dogs treated for unilateral cranial cruciate ligament insufficiency with a custom stifle orthotic.
Background: Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) insufficiency is the most common cause of hind limb lameness in dogs. While there are numerous options for surgical management, surgery is not always an option. Recently, the use of canine stifle orthotics has also emerged as a means to non-surgically manage patients with cranial cruciate ligament insufficiency.
Evidentiary value: This is a retrospective study of ten dogs treated for unilateral cranial cruciate ligament rupture with a stifle orthotic.
Methods: Medical records (January 2005- December 2012) of ten dogs treated for unilateral cranial cruciate ligament rupture with a stifle orthotic were reviewed. Temporospatial gait analysis was performed using a pressure sensing walkway at baseline and 90 days or greater post orthotic placement to identify weight bearing with total pressure index % (TPI%).
Results: TPI% improved significantly by 5.1% in the affected limb when compared to baseline (p = 0.0020). At final gait analysis, TPI% significantly improved by 3% in the affected limb with the orthotic off when compared to the unaffected limb (p = 0.0020).
Conclusion: Custom canine stifle orthotics allow for improved weight bearing in the affected limb.
Application: Custom canine stifle orthotics should be considered for cases with concurrent medical conditions or financial constraints that do not allow for surgical intervention.