The standard rehabilitation procedure for Tightrope repair is a bit different than TTA and TPLO, due to the less invasive nature of the procedure. When dogs return home from Tightrope repair, owners are instructed to allow their dog to utilize the leg as they wish. For some dogs this means they will start putting weight on it the next day, and for other dogs it could be 2-4 weeks before they feel comfortable bearing weight on the surgical leg. Keeping your dog still while in the house, and keeping leashed walking to a minimum (bathroom breaks only) is critical during the first few weeks home no matter what procedure you choose, and exercise/movement restriction is advised for the first 8 post operative weeks.
At 4 weeks post op, most veterinarians will instruct owners to begin introducing their dog back to walks, particularly walking uphill in an attempt to rebuild loss muscle mass. It is a good idea to start out by taking a few short walks every day, gradually working up to longer and less frequent walks. This will prevent strain on the knee joint, which can hinder the healing process. Post operative exercises need to be controlled, leashed walks, as any running, jumping, or roughhousing during the first 8 weeks can be detrimental to the stability of the knee and recovery process.
Upon his arrival home, your dog will need to take a number of medications for pain, inflammation, infection prevention, and possibly sedation. If your buddy is not a willing pill taker, it is a good idea to try to get them into the habit of taking a small snack such as a piece of cheese, peanut butter, or a hot dog slice after their meals. Each dog is different with regard to how long they need to be on a particular pain, inflammation, antibiotic, and sedation regimen, but usually the antibiotics are taken over 10 days, with the pain/inflammation/sedation used on an as needed basis.
As a general rule, just pay close attention to your dog and be sure to tailor their recovery to their particular needs. There is no such thing as having a post operative dog rest too long, but there is always the risk of damage to the repair if your dog tries to do too much, too soon. Tightrope CCL, like other traditional repair methods (lateral suture, extracapsular imbrication), is simply a way to stabilize the joint while scar tissue is being formed, it is not a replacement ligament.