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Extracapsular Repair for Dogs

What is Extracapsular Repair?

Extracapsular Repairs are also referred to as “Traditional” surgery.  It is also sometimes called Lateral Suture Stabilization or LSS.

The term Extracapsular Repair refers to any cruciate ligament (CCL) repair surgery that uses the structures around the joint to add strength and stability.  There are a few different suture types available – and some of the Extracapsular Surgeries derive their name from the particular type of suture line used – as is the case with the TightRope procedure which uses FiberTape.

Read More: Traditional Surgeries

Basic Overview of How the Extracapsular Surgery is Performed

Basic Overview of How the Extracapsular Surgery is Performed

In Extracapsular or Lateral Suture Stabilization Surgery, a type of heavy suture material is used to hold the bones in place.  This heavy suture prevents the knee from moving improperly, allowing scar tissue to build up around the joint – which later provides stability (the suture lines often break at some point in a dog’s life).  The suture is not meant to act as a permanent ligament replacement within the knee, instead its purpose is to give the knee time to build up its own system for support through scar tissue.

Read More: How A Traditional Repair Surgery is Performed

Extracapsular Recovery Time

The recovery time for an Extracapsular Repair is at least 8-12 weeks, if not longer.  Many dogs will avoid using their post surgical leg for at least the first few days, up to two weeks following a Traditional Repair.

It is always advisable to err on the side of caution, and seriously restrict your dog’s activity for at least the first few months after surgery. Remember, in this type of surgery you are using the implanted suture to “buy time” for your dog and allow scar tissue to form naturally. Because this scar tissue will eventually be the primary support mechanism for the knee joint, you want to use extreme care to be sure your dog does not resume normal activity too quickly.

Read More: Tightrope Surgery Recovery

Estimated Cost of Extracapsular Surgery

Standard cost for Extracapsular Repairs begin at  $1,300 and range up to about $3000.

The cost for Extracapsular Surgery is less than TPLO, TTA or other surgeries which involve manipulation of bone.  The reason for this is simple – it takes much more time and skill to perform a surgery in which you are cutting and changing bone angles.

The cost of any CCL surgery is usually dependent on a few factors:

Size of Your Dog

Geographic Location

Type of Veterinary Facility

What is Included

Read More: Traditional Repair Cost

Read Owner Experiences

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traditional tightrope

Traditional Tightrope – Shelbie

Shelbie is 9 years old in February and a 50lb mix of Anatolian Shepherd and Lab so she has always been active and loves chasing her ball and Frisbee! At least she used to About 2 years back she had her left knee buckle and was extremely lame on it, of course immediately took her […]

Conservative Management and Tightrope – Ellie

When Ellie, our 55-pound boxer/pit bull mix, was 3, she tore both ACLs within a couple weeks of each other. Our then vet immediately told us to have TPLO as soon as possible. However, My husband and I took to the Internet to see what we could learn about the whole ordeal. We opted for […]

Tightrope Surgery Infection – Benny

Benny, our three-year-old Staffordshire mix, had damaged both left and right CCLs. After much shopping, research, and talking to vets, we decided on tightrope repair. We had the RH hind leg done first. Post surgery went well until we got off of the antibiotics, when a horrible infection set in. All of the equipment had […]

tightrope knee surgery for dogs

Tightrope Knee Surgery for Dogs – Maxwell

Maxwell is a 103 lb Rhodesian Ridgeback mix in excellent athletic shape and very active. At 4 years old (last year – summer 2013) he tore his CCL on his left stifle completely while running and turning quickly. My normal vet said I would have to seek out a surgeon, she was unable to offer […]