Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) tears are arguably the most common orthopedic disease in dogs. Identifying and treating meniscal injury is crucial when treating CCL disease as meniscal pathology affects surgical outcomes. This prospective study evaluated how meniscal injury affects the prognosis in dogs being treated for CCL tears. The CCL tears were treated with 1) arthroscopy and TightRope (arthrex.com) stabilization; 2) arthroscopy and tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO); or 3) open arthrotomy and TPLO. The authors evaluated 163 dogs (223 stifles) with CCL tears.
The type of surgical technique used to repair a CCL rupture did not affect whether the dog developed a subsequent tear in the meniscus. In 83% of stifles evaluated by arthroscopy a meniscal tear was diagnosed, compared with only 44% with arthrotomy. Subsequent meniscal tears were diagnosed in 1.3% of cases with concurrent meniscal tears at CCL treatment, and in 21% of cases without concurrent meniscal tears at CCL treatment. Dogs treated with a meniscal release did not develop subsequent meniscal tears; however, 11% of dogs that did not have a meniscal release developed a subsequent meniscal tear.