ACL/CCL/TPLO 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.


Surgery vs. Rehab

There are several factors that must be considered in order to determine the best way to manage your dogs CCL injury. These factors include you pets:

  • Age

  • Activity level

  • Full versus partial tear

  • Presence of a meniscus tear

Your surgeon and certfied veterinary rehab professional can help guide you towards the best treatment option for your pet and your individual situation.


Whether surgery is indicated or not, physical rehabilitation should always be included and provided by a certified canine rehabilitation professional.  A certified physcial rehabilitaton profession can help prescribe the most appropriate exercise and rehab plan tailored specifically towards your pets individual needs and stage of recovery.   

Rehabilitation should always be part of the post op recovery process. Without utilizing your rehab your pet may recover full use of their leg, however more than likely they will have compensatory muscular discomfort and likely no achieve optimal, pain-free mobility. Our goals vary depending on the stage of recovery we can focus on:

  • Pain management

  • Weight bearing 

  • Range of motion

  • Muscle tension and discomfort

  • Muscle stregnth

  • Endurance

  • Return to full function

Working with a rehabilitation professional is ideal. Exercises are tailored for your pets specific needs and we ensure that you are appropriately executing the exercises. Poor exercise form or incorporating exercises before your pet is ready to properly execute them can result in injury or continued dysfuction and pain. 


Rehab After Surgery

Frequently Asked Questions