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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

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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 […]

Tightrope Surgery and Golden Retrievers – Mylah

Mylah is a purebred Golden Retriever and will be 2 years old this month. She tore the ACL in her right leg in June and immediately had surgery. We are almost 6 months post-op and she still drags her leg and her nails get filed to the point of bleeding when she walks. I decided […]

Tightrope Repair Complications – Axel

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Tightrope Surgery with Swivel Lock – Brian

Brian was the biggest pup of his litter. Now I know not to pick the biggest, since they are more prone to problems often. At 8 1/2 years his right knee went out. That was one week ago. Given his age and the size of this American Bulldog (120 lbs), I was not sure what […]