Conservative Management, A Non Surgical CCL Repair – Luscus

Here’s my story:

  • Luscus, 18 month old Cane Corso, 125lbs
  • Level 2 tear right rear CCL
  • Occurred at beach when he slipped on a wet rock as 2 dogs jumped on his back (playing)
  • After drawer test doctor recommended tplo surgery

Reasons Conservative Management was selected:

  • To cut the bone of a dog still growing did not seem reasonable
  • Level 2 tear only
  • Post surgical complications of TPLO

Conservative Management Treatment:

  • Entire floor covered with non slip rugs
  • Dog kept in confined area large enough to lay down and stretch when alone
  • When I was home, dog confined to single room and kept calm
  • Leashed walks, dog always kept to slow walk. Week 1 distance = 0 feet; walked just enough to get to grass
  • Week 2 walking distance increased 25 ft only if no setbacks/injuries during week 1
  • Each week continued increasing distance per walk
  • Always kept dog calm, no playing, jumping, etc.

End Result:

  • Approximately 4 weeks dog was walking normal and wanting to do more
  • I waited until end of 6th week to begin rebuilding muscle and ligament strength with light running
  • Continued to add time spent running each day, similar to how walking distance was increased each week
  • End of week 9 dog was at full activity and strength
  • Never had a recurrence or re injury

Personal Comment:

  • Even if you opt for surgery – the above recovery period applies
  • With all the great braces available conservative management becomes easier

5 thoughts on “Conservative Management, A Non Surgical CCL Repair – Luscus

  1. Is your dog still doing good? just wondering if the CM held or you have had a relapse. going through the same thing on my 80 lb lab.

  2. Thank you for the info. My 90 lb Pitt bull has the same injury after playing at the beach. Did you use any supplements or use ice packs. How did you managed the pain?

  3. Thank you. My 85 lb lab has had 3 surgeries on her right leg and is still lame. Her left leg has always been weak and she hurt it badly chasing a squirrel last wk. We decided no more surgeries and am trying CM. Your post gave me hope that CM works.

  4. I’m wondering how you can know it was a “level 2” tear? Doc told me that you can only guess going by the laxity of the joint and other symptoms, whether it is a full or partial tear. I hadn’t heard the term level 2 etc. Only an MRI, CAT scan, or actually going into the knee to look will give you a definitive answer to how bad the tear is. Is that correct?

  5. Our Golden Retriever Charlie (98 lbs) had one CCL repair when she was two. About a year later she tore her opposite CCL. Because Charlie had trouble with the anesthesia with the first repair, surgery was not an option. we did a lot of research on conservative management and found Woundwear’s A-Trac Dynamic Brace. Although our vet was skeptical about the effectiveness of the A-TraC, I convinced him that we should give it a go. Charlie was able to bear weight the moment we put the brace on. We got the double sided brace and only used the ROM rods in the un-repaired cruciate. Within a few moments of walking around with the brace on, Charlie actually started to run! I hadn’t seen her run in over a year- it was so great. She is from a larger than breed standard stock, with litter-mates weighing upwards of 110 ibs, and her size was a concern with having one repaired knee and one blown out knee.

    She never complained or chewed at the brace, and wore it steady for 7 months, with us following the recommendations for slowing changing, and then removing the stabilizer rods. The only change I made was putting a thicker fur pad on the webbing across her chest and the webbing under her tummy. The last time Charlie wore her braces was in June. She never had any trouble with either knee again. Our vet is sold on the A-TraC for dogs that are not surgical candidates. Every time Charlie had gone in for a vet check, he’s been amazed by the fact that there’s little range of motion difference between the knee that was surgically repaired and the knee that repaired itself via the A-TraC. I highly suggest people look into this brace for a conservative management option – Charlie says “Go For It!”

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