For both humans and animals alike, any surgical procedure carries a risk of complications. You dog should have a full evaluation done, complete with blood work and other baseline testing, prior to surgery to help minimize any risks. Pre-surgical testing can often diminish the risk of death from anesthesia and other preventable complications related to your canine’s health. Overall, complications with cruciate surgery occur in approximately 5 to 10% of patients. Complications can range from mild and easily resolved, to more severe complications requiring additional surgery, expense and disability. While uncommon, complications do arise during and after extracapsular repair procedures, and you should have a discussion with your veterinarian regarding ways to minimize and avoid these risks.
Complications and risks associated with traditional repair techniques for cranial cruciate ligament surgery are as follows:
- Adverse reactions to anesthesia including nausea, vomiting, fatigue and in rare cases – death.
- Infection of the surgical site.
- Seroma – a build up of fluid at the surgical site which must be drained (aspirated).
- Allergic reaction to sutures or medications used.
- Allergic reaction to leader line, making re-operation for removal necessary.
- Patellar luxation – knee cap dislocation.
- Entrapment of the peroneal nerve – which can lead to paralysis and/or loss of the limb.
- Blow out of stifle joint, tearing of leader line. This requires surgical intervention and a TPLO is often used for repair.
- Tearing of mensicus.