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TTA Surgery and CM – Ben’s Story

Injury Date:
12/2008

Ben’s Story:

Ben is a 4 year old Standard Schnauzer. We believe he suffered a partial tear in his Left CCL in December 2008. We didn’t give CM (Conservative Management) a chance until about July 2009, when he was diagnosed with a CCL tear. Prior to that, it only appeared to be a minor injury. Since July 2009 when we started CM, Ben would start walking and standing normally, but would often suffer set back after set back. I will be the first to admit that most of the set backs were due to my stupidity. I guess it could be argued we never gave CM a chance.

A few weeks ago, we gave up and did some more research. The Vet indicated that he could be healed through CM, but if we wanted him to be the athletic dog he used be, then he would need surgery. Ben was/is my hiking buddy and used to go on 7-8 mile hikes in the Utah Mtns all the time. He could run for hours and hours without taking a break. The Vet believed he would never be able to do that through CM without being down the rest of the day and/or next day. We scheduled him for TTA surgery with an Orthopedic surgeon that is believed to be the best in Utah, if not the best in West. From our research, the TTA surgery appears to be far superior to the TPLO. Dogs tend to be healed within 3-4 months. Also, they tend to be weight bearing on the leg within 24-48 hours. Within 2 weeks, some dogs are pain free.

Ben made it through surgery just fine today. The Orthopedic surgeon called us and indicated to our surprise that Ben had a complete tear in his CCL and the Meniscus was completely torn as well. If I knew he had that much damage, I think we would have scheduled surgery much sooner. The Orthopedic Surgeon did tell us that he does not believe Ben will suffer anymore arthritis than normal because of our delay in scheduling surgery. His joint appeared to be clean with only minor swelling. The surgeon believed his recovery will be just as good as if we scheduled him back in 7/09.

At this point it is anyone’s guess if he would be better or worse with CM. As of now, we have the peace of mind that knowing the end is near. With CM, we never knew when the road would end. I will post updates on Ben’s recovery over the next several weeks.

Incision site for canine procedureDay 1 (after TTA surgery)
When I picked Ben up from the Vet, he was completely opposite from what I expected. I expected a dog that looked like he had been to hell and back. Instead, Ben was dragging the Vet tech into the room. As we were talking to the Vet, he sat on his leg that just had surgery. The Vet was impressed with the very little swelling around Ben’s leg. As we walked outside, he was practically dragging me to the car. His spirits are completely high, and looked like he wanted to go play.

As we were getting into the car, I was planning on picking him up and placing him inside the car. Instead, I opened the door and he leaped into the car. He missed and gave me a complete heart attack. I caught him as he was falling to the ground. I expected him to cry out in pain, but he acted like nothing was wrong. Once inside the car, he was jumping from seat to seat like nothing was wrong. Once he was home, he immediately went for his food.

At this point he is just toe touching on the leg with the surgery, but he is getting around fabulous on his 3 legs. About 5 hours later, I took him for his first walk. We walked past a few houses before we turned around. As we got close to home, I noticed he started walking on his leg. He continued to walk on it (with a limp) the rest of the evening!!!!!! It looks like my biggest challenge at this point will be keeping him under control so that he can heal properly.

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3 Responses to TTA Surgery and CM – Ben’s Story

  1. October 29, 2010 at 8:24 pm #

    Our American Bulldog is 8 weeks post op from TTA. She had the TPLO performed 3 months ago on the other leg. She is non weight bearing and hasn’t made an effort to use the leg for the last 2-3 weeks. Did anyone else go through this? The vet doesn’t know what is wrong with her. We are at a loss…

  2. November 3, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    My Lab is 4 weeks post op from TTA and it has been a very slow recovery. She is not putting full weight on the leg and is still limping quite significantly the vet performed an xray to check on the implant which looked fine we are also at a loss for why her recovery is taking so long.

  3. November 6, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    Wow Deb, seems we have similiar stories, and holy cow, seems we’re going through it at the same time!

    My Lab is 4 weeks post op from TTA and things were going fine. Then suddenly, this week, she showed some sign of discomfort, but now she’s holding it up. She was walking so well, and now BOOM she’s limping.

    I’ve been doing the stretches and warm compresses, back and forth with the ice. She lets me touch the leg and feel where there was surgery – while she looks at me she doesn’t make any pain noises.

    I just hope that I didn’t let her do too much too fast because she was really walking beautifully up to this point.

    Let me know what you find out on your pup and I’ll do the same with mine.

    WHY CAN’T DOGS JUST TALK AND TELL US WHAT THE PROBLEM IS AND WHERE THE PAIN IS?

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