Torn ACL - surgery?

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Thatcher

Boxer Pal
It is (sadly) official, my 3 year old tore her ACL. I have heard from owners who have tried the 2 most popular surgeries (suture and TPLO), but I am curious to hear from people who have opted NOT to have surgery. She tore her ACL in late December and she was on rimadyl for 5 days. Since the tear, she has begun to put more weight on her hind leg but not completely. She will go from walking on all 4s to holding her hind leg up for a bit. I have been trying to contain her as best as possible. I only take her on short walks, she is crated, there is limited play (no balls but the occasional pull and tug). She still wants to play and jump and run but I have been pretty strict about it. I have been giving her glucosamine hoping to delay inevitable joint problems. I want to do right by her, but wonder whether she can heal herself to the degree that I can play with her again.
 

Tessa

Boxer Booster
Tessa came up lame in June of 2011 and the vet thought it was a partial tear. We did the non-surgery route and restricted play/activity for months. We also gave joint supplements. Every time she'd start doing better, we'd let her have a bit more freedom and then she'd limp again. October of 2012, she finally tore it completely and we opted for TTA surgery. 3 more months of no play/activity and we are just starting to reintroduce normal activity. In hindsight, I wish we had gone the surgery route first because she would have had WAY less time being restricted. I feel she went through more pain than necessary and a lower quality of life for a year because we waited.

As an FYI, we had 2 vets both tell us a full tear cannot heal with conservative management.

Every case is different- do lots of research and seek a second opinion before making a decision on what to do. Good luck and best of luck for a quick recovery!
 

whiskers

Boxer Insane
My understanding is that if you really want it to heal and improve, you're not going to achieve that without surgery.

My dogs have never had such issues, but I've seen a few TPLOs performed and the dogs then go on to regain normal function of the leg. I guess I would rather just do the surgery & physical therapy and be on the road to recovery, instead of hoping that it'll eventually heal on its own with enough restriction.
 

LILYLARUE

Boxer Insane
My Lily tore hers 4 years ago in one leg and had the suture. After 16 weeks of hydrotherapy, she was still limping. Off to a second opinion and diagnosed with rejection of the sutures and a torn ACL in the other leg. With this rejection, she will need both knees replaced ($5000 for both). For 3 years now she had limited excercise, mostly by her. No jumping, no steps, no running, etc. Somehow she even managed to lose the 25lbs she gained before her thyroid meds. I wish I could be lazy and still lose weight! LOL

Now the past month, she is ripping and tearing and back to her crazy self from 3 yrs ago! She does still have mornings that she may be stiff, but so far so good. She's even doing her burns through the yard and jumping on the other boys to initiate play. I can see her being very careful by keeping her back end away from the other dog when playing. She will brace her backside against me when getting petted or the boys are being rambunxious around her. She is very keen on keeping her senses when the possiblilty of being knocked over is there. She also won't walk on any hard flooring unless there is a mat or towel down to prevent her from slipping. Very smart girl I must say!

I am not going to believe that she is 100% by no means. I am assuming she will need those knees replaced as she ages and arthritis may be setting in. She has regulated herself so well, I think she will continue to rest when she needs it. So for now.....she just keeps on trucking when she can and rests when she can't. She also shows no sign of pain. I'm right there with her, awaiting my knee replacement as well.
 

DlcVta

Boxer Pal
My Boxer is just 1 1/2 yrs old and just got back from the surgical specialist yesterday saying she has a partial tare. Being that Im in the general practice field with my own research I have chosen to do the TTA surgery. She has surgery on Tuesday. I have heard very positive things with the TTA, I have heard with the TPLO during recovery period some dogs have fractured the tibia when running or jumping and landing on a hard surface. They did tell me theres a 50 to 80% chance my girl will sometime in the future need her other knee done.
 
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