There are two bands of fibrous tissues called the cruciate ligaments in each knee joint. They join the femur and tibia (the bones above and below the knee joint) together so that the knee works as a hinged joint. The aim of the MMP surgery is to replace the function of the cruciate and stabilise the knee joint. This procedure involves redirecting the force generated by the large leg muscles (quadriceps) to compensate for the broken cruciate ligament. Part of the tibia that is attached to the quadriceps is cut and moved forward. It is then stabilised using a specially designed, orthopaedic implant in the shape of a wedge.
To ensure a safe recovery, it is best that your pet is kept inside overnight, somewhere warm and quiet. They may need to be confined to either a crate or sectioned off to a smaller area of the house (e.g. laundry or bathroom).
You will need to check the surgery site daily and bathe it in a weak salt solution if it is messy or crusty. A small amount of swelling around the would may be expected. You can relieve this by applying light pressure to the area with an ice pack wrapped in a towel. If the wound becomes red or weepy, or your pet is licking at the area and seems uncomfortable, please bring your pet in for a check up as these signs may indicate an infection.
Weeks 1 - 2:
Your pet will have a short course of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and possibly some extra pain relief. We will need to see your pet back in 10-14 days to check the surgery site and to remove the sutures. Do not bathe your pet or allow them to go swimming until 2 days after the sutures are removed.
Strict rest at this time is important to allow the swelling to go down and your pet to become more comfortable when it comes time to begin exercise and physiotherapy. Ideally, your pet should go outside on a lead to toilet during the first two weeks. No other exercise is recommended for the first 14 days - it is crucial that you do not let your pet loose to run freely throughout the house, particularly up and down stairs.
Weeks 3 - 4:
Once the sutures are removed you can slowly begin to increase exercise. Your pet should be encouraged to take frequent short lead walks, 5-10 minutes, 6-8 times daily is a good starting point. Your pet is still not allowed off the leash until after the fourth week. Take care that they continue to use the operated limb confidently at every step. Please avoid any rough and tumble, retrieving and jumping.
Weeks 5 - 6:
At this stage, your pet should be capable of frequently lengthy (30 minutes or more) lead walks and we will soon be introducing some free running activity. The key to a successful recovery is a gradual increase in activity.
By eight to twelve weeks your pet should be walking fairly normally. If they are still lame at twelve weeks or suddenly favouring a leg at any time, they should be brought back in for a check up. Most pets will be capable of full, unrestricted athletic ability within 12 weeks of their operation.
If your pet is still stiff or lame after 4 months, please bring them into the clinic for a check up. They may need anti-arthritic medication.
Hydrotherapy is recommended, please ask one of our staff for a referral.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 9274 1845.