Massage Therapy provides the following benefits for dogs with Cruciate Ligament Damage;
Increases muscle tone and strengthens existing muscle supporting the joint
Provides natural pain relief
Enables continual flexibility of the muscle following injury
Decreases recovery time enables a better outcome
Reduces areas of overcompensation
Signs and symptoms of Cruciate Ligament damage may include:
Swollen stifle joint
Gradual onset lameness (degenerative cruciate damage)
Unable to bear weight on the limb
Resting weight on the toes only
Crying in pain
Sitting with leg out to the side
Want to know more?
Damage to the Cruciate Ligament is a common and debilitating injury in dogs, overweight and unfit dogs are even more susceptible.
The stifle or knee joint is a complex joint made up of the Femur, Tibia, Patella and Fabellae. Assorted ligaments hold everything together and allow the joint to bend in the way it should but also to prevent it from bending the way it shouldn’t. Within the joint there are 2 cruciate ligaments which are arranged in a crossed over pattern, these being; the cranial and posterior Cruciate. The Cranial Ligament functions to prevent the tibia sliding forward in relation the femur and is the most common to be injured.
Due to the complexity of the joint it is an area commonly affected by sprains, there are 4 grades of sprain.
1st Degree - minor tear or stretch
2nd Degree - tear followed by swelling
3rd Degree – Complete Rupture
4th Degree - Ligament breaks and takes with it small pieces of bone
All can bring about intense pain and debilitation to the animal. When either Cruciate Ligament tears the Tibia is allowed to move freely underneath known as drawer motion the femur resulting in pain. Without prompt treatment arthritis can be quick to set in causing secondary issues to the affected joint.
Cruciate Ligament damage can be caused by many every day activities jumping for a Frisbee, landing wrong, tripping in a rabbit hole or jumping a fence and getting a leg caught.
Cruciate ligament damage can also be caused by a degenerative ligament which tears during normal activity, obesity, general wear and tear, past injury or conformational abnormality.