Computer-assisted gait analysis of the dog: Comparison of two surgical techniques for the ruptured cranial cruciate ligament.

Böddeker J, Drüen S, Meyer-Lindenberg A, Fehr M, Nolte I, Wefstaedt P.

Objectives: To compare the improvement in degree of lameness following surgical repair of cranial cruciate ligament rupture in dogs using computer-assisted gait analysis. Methods: Two groups of 14 dogs were used. One group was treated by a capsular-fascial imbrication method, and the other group by tibial plateau levelling osteotomy (TPLO). All dogs underwent gait analysis prior to surgery, as well as at four days, four weeks, and four months after surgery. Symmetry indices of vertical ground reaction forces as well as vertical ground reaction forces in % body weight, joint angles and certain gait cycle parameters were evaluated. Results: Four months after surgery, the degree of lameness expressed as symmetry index for peak vertical force for the TPLO group (5.83%) was not significantly different to the capsular-fascial imbrication group (19.05%). Within the TPLO group, there was a significantly increased ability to extend the stifle joint four months after surgery. The stifle motion pattern of the capsular-fascial imbrication group as well as the range-of-motion in both groups showed very little change at the time of the last gait analysis. The complication rate was greater in the TPLO group than in the capsular-fascial group. Clinical significance: In conclusion the results suggest that the TPLO method leads to a faster recovery and improved limb function in comparison to the capsular-fascial imbrication method four months after surgery. Further analyses are needed to determine if the TPLO method is superior concerning long-term joint stability.