Zorro is a 4 year old male Maltese who presented at St Francis at the end of May this year with a sudden onset right hindlimb lameness. After further examination Dr Futter found that Zorro had ruptured his cranial cruciate ligament in his right knee joint. This ligament is very important as it creates stability in the knee joint restricting rotation and forward movement between the thigh and shin bones.

Dr Futter performed an extra-capsular stabilisation technique whereby a piece of thick surgical nylon is implanted around the joint to act as a false ligament and provide the much needed stabilisation. Zorro recovered well from surgery after a stay in hospital of 3 days, he continues to progress in his recovery, gradually increasing exercise with regular checks to ensure ongoing joint stability. It is essential in these cases that dogs do not return to normal activity too soon after the operation, even though they feel like running and jumping, any sudden exertion can damage the implant and require repeat surgery.

Any animal that has undergone this surgery should start on a joint supplement or ideally a diet such as Hills j/d which will aid in the protection and longevity of the knee joint.