What is Cruciate Disease?
Cruciate disease is the most common orthopaedic disease in dogs. It often requires surgical intervention. Joint instability occurs when the fibres have minor tears which cause an ongoing breakdown of the ligament. When the ligament is torn, it causes sudden pain and can result in lameness. This will cause instability in the knee joint itself and will remain unstable until treated.
When weight is put onto the unstable joint, the tibia slides forward into the femur. This abnormal motion causes wear and tear causing pain which leads to arthiritis in the joint.
Anatomy of the knee joint;
The knee is what we call a hinge joint. This is a joint that only allows backward and forward motion. The knee itself is fairly complicated and is made up of many parts. The femur is above the joint, and the tibia below. The kneecap (patella) lies in front and a small bean like structure called the fabellae lies behind. There are an assortment of ligaments that hold
There are two cruciate ligaments which cross inside the knee joint known as the cranial and caudal ligaments. The caudal cruciate ligament prevents the tibia from slipping forward and out from under the femur. It is one of the most important stabilisers in the canine stifle joint. It is not actually a single structure but is, in fact, made up of a bundle of individual fibres tightly bound together to form the ligament.