Wednesday, March 4, 2009

An Option to Walk on a Tightrope...

There was a very informative post this week from Dolittler (one of my favorite pet-related blogs, written by a veterinarian I wish I could take my animals to!) about one of the CCL surgery repair options out there. It's called Tightrope and it's one of the newer techniques available. It is said to be a better choice than the traditional extracapsular repair for larger dogs (over 30 lbs). However, as Dr. Patty Khuly states:
Consisting of strong bone anchors and a super-strong, braided polyethylene band, the TightRope device has become so popular that it’s become synonymous with the procedure itself. Surgeons I’ve surveyed, however, urge caution in the face of popularity: It’s not a new procedure at all, they say, it’s more like a “new and improved” version of an extracapsular that may not be so “improved.”
See the full post at Dolittler for her great info and advice.

My dog Bailey had the traditional extracapsular repair (using a wire, rather than sutures), as that was the only option presented to me at the time. While I wish I had known about some of the other options when making my decision, I don't know if it would have changed my final choice. The Tightrope technique is new and still unproven long-term and some of the other techniques out there (TPLO and TTA) are quite a bit more involved and invasive (although arguably more successful in their outcomes). These other techniques are also considerably more expensive than the traditional repair and while I want what is best for my dog, I do have to take the cost into account (especially in this time of economic uncertainy).

Bailey will be 10 years old this summer. She is at an ideal weight and is in fantastic athletic condition (she frankly still looks and acts like a young dog), which her vet believes will give her the best possible chance for recovery. My biggest challenge will be to keep her calm and safe from reinjury during her long recovery period (she is VERY high-energy... sigh), as I understand this is one of the biggest risks with this surgery.

Time will only tell if I made the right choice for Bailey. At this point, I can only hope I did.


DogsDeserveFreedom said...

Popped by from blogcatalog and found your blog. Good luck with the recovery! I have found that filling a dog's time with mental stimulation like cookie balls and scavenger hunts can really help keep a high energy dog quiet.

Feel free to come by blog sometime and leave a comment! Would you be interested in linking sites?


Pies Placek said...

You are very cute dog Bajley. Best wishes for you and your friends.

Craft Cove said...

I was reading about your dogs recovery from cruciate ligament repair. But then it seemed to stop.

How is the dog now? Has he fully recovered?