ACL/CCL Physical Rehab


What is the Cranial Cruciate Ligament

The cranial cruciate ligament (CCL or ACL) is an important stabilizing mechanism in your pet’s knee. When the ligament is damaged, it can lead to pain, swelling, arthritis, limping and loss of mobility due to the instability. 

Diagnosing A Tear

Typically we diagnose a torn CCL with palpation and manipulation of the knee, observation of the dog’s movement and an x-ray to rule out other possible causes of abnormal gait.

Frequently Asked Questions

How did my pet injure his/her CCL?

Unlike humans, who typically damage their ACL from acute trauma, dogs generally will tear their CCL after a gradual breakdown of the ligament. Even dogs that seem to become suddenly lame and are diagnosed with a CCL tear have typically experienced gradual damage to the ligament which eventually completely tears, resulting in swelling and pain. There are many factors which may contribute to the likelihood of a dog tearing their ACL including: - Genetics - Obesity - Conformation

Surgery was recommended for my dog - can I just do rehab instead?

Rehab is a critical component to helping your dog recover from a CCL injury. Every patient is different and there are several factors which need to be considered when determining how to best proceed, including: - Age - Weight - Presence of a meniscal tear - Other medical conditions In cases in which surgery may not be in the pet’s interest, after a thorough physical rehabilitation exam at the clinic, we can guide you on the best rehabilitation plan and even help fit your pet for a custom brace to support the affected knee. No matter what, physical rehabilitation is always an important component to help your pet regain their strength, mobility and have the best chance of living pain-free and returning to the life they love.