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What is Traditional Repair Surgery?

Once the conventional treatment for CCL tears, Traditional Repair is an Extracapsular technique which uses a strong leader line suture material to provide joint stability. The suture used in a Traditional Repair is not meant to stay in place and provide support for your dog’s entire life. Instead, its purpose is to prevent any unwanted movement of the joint through the duration of recovery (usually at least 12 weeks of serious restriction), giving your dog time to develop scar tissue and supportive tissue within the knee.

Read More: Traditional Surgery for Ligament Tears

Basic Overview of How the Traditional Surgery is Performed

A type of heavy suture material is used to hold the bones in place. The Traditional Repair is an Extracapsular technique – meaning that the suture is placed on the outside of the bones of your dog’s knee joint. 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).

Read More: How Extracapsular Repairs Are Performed

Traditional Surgery Recovery Time

You can expect a recovery time of at least 8-12 weeks, if not longer. It is not unusual for a dog to avoid using their leg for at least a few days up to a week or two following a Traditional Repair surgery.

Most dogs will see a return to full functioning in the limb within 3-4 months following surgery. Physical therapy following surgery can help to make your dog more comfortable and assist them in returning to full function more quickly.

Read More: Traditional Repair Recovery

Estimated Cost of Traditional Surgery

Standard cost for Extracapsular Repairs typically begin at $700 and range up to about $2200.

The cost for Traditional Repair Surgery is less than TPLO or TTA. Why? 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 – The smaller the dog, the less supplies and materials necessary (anesthesia, post operative meds, etc.)

Geographic Location – Clinics and hospitals closer to city centers generally are more expensive than rural clinics.

Type of Veterinary Facility – Teaching hospitals and smaller, more rural clinics are less than specialty hospitals in major cities.

What is Included – Is the cost only for the surgery, or are post operative visits, medications and rehabilitation sessions included?

Additional Information on Traditional Surgery

The catalyst for beginning this website, Dog Knee Injury, was my experience with Tucker’s CCL injury. Our first option was to proceed with Conservative Management, and when that failed, we opted to go with a Traditional Repair surgery. I’ve written extensively about Tucker’s Traditional Repair, and encourage you to read both his story and those shared by readers of Dog Knee Injury before making a decision on what route is best for you and your pet.

Here’s where Tucker’s story begins – Tucker’s Traditional Repair

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traditional repair

Traditional Repair – Maggie

I am writing to share Maggie’s story because when I found out about her injury I scoured the internet for stories relating to cruciate injuries and this website was my saving grace! We adopted Maggie at 8 weeks old as a rescue pup from New Mexico. We are avid hikers so Maggie was always hiking […]


Traditional Extracapsular Repair – Periwinkle

Hey there! It is with great pleasure that I share Periwinkle’s success with her “traditional” knee repair surgery. Winksy is a 6-ish year old pit bull terrier or mix. I am sharing this story 3 years after Winksy’s surgery because I wanted to give the repair time to succeed or fail, so to speak. My […]

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 […]

traditional repair- Bridget

Traditional Repair – Bridget

My beagle, Bridget, ruptured her cruciate ligament (with partial meniscus tear) in April, 2015, and we chose the Traditional Repair for a couple of reasons: Bridget is an older dog (rescued her over 10 years ago when she was already an adult), and she also has arthritis. Because of her age, I wanted the least […]