Dog cruciate ligament surgery

One of the common causes of a lame dog, just as in humans, is cruciate ligament injury. Sydney Animal Hospitals use the most advanced techniques for all surgeries, including for this troublesome problem. For larger or more active dogs we recommend a procedure known as a Triple Tibial Osteotomy or TTO.

An operation to stablise the joint and make the failed ligament obsolete

Dog with cruciate ligament injury

Dr Sam Haynes analysing Brooklyn

This operation is based on biomechanical analysis of a dog’s knee joint as shown in the radiograph below (Pre-op X-ray), by Dr Warrick Bruce, who reasoned that rather than doing one or the other of two previously well accepted techniques, there is merit in doing a little of both to achieve the same outcome, but with less radical angular changes.

The operation, TTO, requires three cuts to the bone – shown in Diagram 1 in red below – to create a small closing wedge osteotomy and this simultaneously advances the tibial crest, as shown by the green arrows.

The effect of this change is to stabilise the joint both at rest and while in motion. The changes to the bone are held in place with a custom moulded plate as seen in the model in Diagram 2.


Cruciate ligament X ray Illustration of Cruciate ligament repair

Pre-op X-ray Diagram 1  Diagram 2


See the video below for a fuller explanation of treatment for a cruciate ligament repair from Sam Haynes of Sydney Animal Hospitals.


Pre-operative patient assessment

Every patient is assessed for the degree of lameness, overall alignment of the limb, stifle range of movement, as well as the degree of stability within the joint.

This includes taking radiographs (shown below) from which a number of important calculations are made to determine how the operation should proceed.

See video for fuller explanation of pre-operative patient assessment.

The Triple Tibial Osteotomy operation 

Your pet is anesthetised and post-operative analgesics (pain killers) are administered to ensure he or she suffers no discomfort during the complex operation and post-operative recovery period.

Your dog will stay in hospital overnight and receive pain relief during this period. Once your pet has been assessed as making a complete recovery he or she will be able to go home with you with a course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory pain medications.

X ray one of fiveX ray two of fiveX ray three of fiveX ray four of fiveX ray five of five

This series of radiographs shows the calculations involved in cruciate ligament repair

Post-operative analysis for cruciate ligament repair

Dog undergoing Cruciate Ligament Repair

Dr Sam Haynes performing a TTO

Post-operative X-rays are taken following the operation to check the plate position and correction angle with calculations being made to ensure that a good result has been achieved.

To discuss why your dog may be experiencing lameness, please call one of our friendly vets at Sydney Animal Hospitals.

Open seven days.




Newtown (02) 9519 4111

Inner West (02) 9516 1466

Norwest (02) 8883 0411

Kellyville (02) 8883 0533

For more information on post-operative care following a cruciate ligament repair follow these links.

Post-operative care

Exercises for your dog after the operation

Contact a Sydney Animal Hospital near you

Inner West Sydney vet hospital
» (02) 9516 1466
Kellyville Sydney vet hospital
» (02) 8883 0533
Newtown Sydney vet hospital
» (02) 9519 4111
Norwest Sydney vet hospital
» (02) 8883 0411
Newport Sydney vet hospital
» (02) 9997 4609