Cranial cruciate ligament tears are the most common orthopaedic injury in the dog. Many dog owners however do not opt to have this problem surgically corrected.
When the CCL is torn in the dog, the stifle becomes very unstable. The femur (thigh bone) shears against the tibia (shin bone) and can tear the meniscus.
Commonly, the medial meniscus is torn in the dog. The most common lesion is a bucket handle tear.
This is a disaster for the joint because the meniscus is a stabiliser in the knee. This causes the bones to rub directly on one another and also creates joint mice as pieces of cartilage break free and float around in the joint creating severe pain.
This dog has a torn meniscus after suffering a cranial cruciate ligament tear in the past.
Rough surfaces rub together causing severe pain.
The meniscus can be seen bulging out into the joint. This dog had a “locked knee” and severe lameness.