Dresden has been recently diagnosed with a torn ACL on his left back leg. From the X-Rays it appears that the weight he has been putting on his right back leg to compensate for his lack of motion (and pain) in his left has exacerbated, and begun to tear, his right back leg as well . It has been recommended by our vet that he get a TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) surgery on both back legs. The surgery comes at a hefty price tag – $7,000+. Excluding the cost, there are also some pretty serious risks involved as well (per http://tiggerpoz.com/):
— Cracking and splintering of the bones where the metal plates are attached to bone with screws;
— Persistent infections in the bones;
— Failure of the patellar ligament due to increased stress on that ligament caused by altered joint geometry.
— Failure to heal of the saw-cut re-positioned bone segments.
— Damage to the joint’s meniscus following the ‘meniscus-release’ often done in association with TPLOs.
— Loosening of the metal plates caused by backing-out of the screws after surgery or failure of the screws’ attachment from crumbling bone or other causes.
— Tibial tuberosity fracturing;
— Spinal alignment problems resulting from the altered bone structure having changed stress vectors ;
— Increased cancer rates associated with the metal implants.
— Peroneal nerve damage
— Popliteal artery trauma
— And more.
Dresden is only 1.2 years old and his bone plates are still growing. While I am not opposed to surgery, I’m also not 100% sold on it either. Currently, we’re looking into more conservative approaches to his therapy until we can address a surgical procedure…
We started by creating a sleeping space for ourselves downstairs to limit Dresden’s desire to go upstairs and play with the cats. He’s also receiving Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM as a daily supplement and is currently taking 75 MG of Rimadyl 2x a day.
I’ve also been contacting all of our local vets in regards to getting him fitted and cast with a custom Stifle Knee Brace, by Hero. I haven’t heard back from any vets yet, but I only recently learned about this brace from a few days of research.
It’s been a very stressful exhausting last few days, but we’re making due for our little hobgoblin.