Effects of a Fascial Replacement Technique Following Intercondylar Notchoplasty in Dogs
Rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament (RCCL) is a common orthopedic problem in dogs. Several techniques have been described for the treatment of stifle instability following RCCL, but scarce information is available concerning the effects of intercondylar notchplasty (IN) on intra-articular fascial replacement of the cranial cruciate ligament. Eighteen stifle joints were operated, where 9 joints comprised the control group and 9 joints were submitted to IN. Dogs were evaluated prior to surgery and at days 1, 30, 90 and 180 postoperatively regarding the degree of lameness, stifle stability, thigh circumference, and degree of extension, flexion, range of motion, tibial rotation and degree of degenerative joint disease (DJD). Data were analyzed by means of ANOVA for repeated measures followed by an appropriate post-hoc test. Lameness was significantly greater following surgery in both groups, and decreased thereafter. Thigh muscle circumference was significantly decreased at days 30 and 90 post-op in both groups when compared to pre-op values, however at 180 days, thigh circumference was similar to pre-operative values in both groups. Stifle stability increased over time in both groups following surgery, however during stifle flexion, an equal number of joints showed some degree of instability. Maximum degree of extension, flexion, range of motion and tibial rotation was not affected by surgery in any group. Radiographic signs of DJD increased in both groups after surgery, however statistical significance was not observed between groups. It is concluded that IN does not cause any detrimental effect on stifle joint following intra-articular repair.