Efficacy of Carprofen on Return to Function in Surgical Cases of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Repairs in Dogs
Rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament is the most commonly diagnosed orthopedic lesion in the dog. More than 100 different surgical stabilization methods have been proposed but the clinical success rate is always around 80%. Progressive degenerative joint disease has been also largely documented in surgically treating cranial cruciate ligament rupture. Antiinflammatory drugs in orthopedic conditions are mainly used in the treatment of osteoarthritis for their efficacy in relieving pain. They improve the mobility too. Recently, it was reported that carprofen, a new non-steroidal antiinflammatory drug used in the treatment of osteoarthritis in dogs, could reduce the progression of early structural changes in experimental osteoarthritis (sectioning of the anterior cruciate ligament). The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of carprofen to improve the return to function (quality and speed) in surgical cases of anterior cruciate ligament repairs.
Materials & methods 2 groups of 50 dogs with a clinical and radiographic diagnosis of cranial cruciate ligament rupture were investigated. The surgical management consisted in an intra-articular stabilization "over the top" technique. Group 1 received carprofen 4mg/kg per day given orally for one month after surgery. Group 2 didn't receive any treatment. The pre and post-surgical evaluations were rated using a veterinary and an owner scales.
Veterinary scale was based on clinical examination: weight-bearing, lameness, general mobility, joint mobility, palpation, pain and laxity. Radiographic examination was also completed. Owner scale included 6 parameters: lameness, weight bearing, pain, run, jump and go upstairs. For both owner and veterinary evaluations, each parameter was graded at 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4 (Likert's scale). At 1, 3 and 6 months after surgery, the veterinary and owner's evaluations were compared among groups for each parameter and on the total of the scores. The data were analysed statistically by means of Student's t test. Statistical significance was assigned to p values 0,05.
The two treatment groups were not different with respect to breed, weight, sex, age, or clinical status prior to the study.
One month after surgery, the improvement of all parameters (except laxity) was significantly more pronounced in the carprofen treated group (significant differences between groups in each score and the total of the scores concerning veterinary evaluation). The laxity of the joint was significantly higher at 1 month in the carprofen treated group. 3 months after surgery, some criteria were also significantly more improved in this group (significant differences between groups in veterinary parameter "general mobility" and owner parameters "pain", "run" and "jump"). The tolerance of carprofen was judged good with 6 % of digestive side effects.
Carprofen 4mg/kg per day given orally for one month post-surgery improved return to function after surgical management of cranial cruciate ligament during treatment and the 3 following months. Some results indicated that carprofen could reduce the progression of osteoarthritis.