Canine CCL Injuries: Surgery vs Knee Brace - What You Need to Know

Make the best choice for you and your pet when evaluating your options.

CCL damage in a dog’s knee is one of the most common types of injuries seen in canines, especially larger breeds. A knee injury can either come from experiencing some type of trauma, or more commonly, is a result from the wear on a ligament. In larger breed dogs, their weight plays a factor in the deterioration of the ligament, and even more significantly in cases where a dog is overweight.

When a CCL injury in a dog has occurred, in most cases pet parents have a choice between surgery and a knee brace. As with most injuries and pets, the “best choice” that can be made is specific to the pet’s medical history, pet parent’s financial capabilities, availability/ access to treatment and more.



A TPLO surgery is very effective and commonly seen in pet’s that have CCL injuries. A TPLO surgery can cost around the $5000 price point; and with many pet parents still opting out of pet insurance, that can be a significant unexpected cost. While most pet parents will do anything for their pets, this may not be a feasible option, or just not feasible right away. 

If TPLO surgery is the direction pet parents decide to go, consider a brace to support pet’s knee while recovering. Just like when humans break an arm badly and have surgery, they also receive a cast to ensure everything heals appropriately.

Knee Braces

An unforeseen complication with surgery as an option is that not all pets are strong candidates for surgery. This can be due to age or pre-existing diseases. In these cases, a canine knee brace is strongly recommended by many veterinarians. Not only to support the injured leg, but in many cases to also support the opposite leg that is now compensating for the injured leg when it comes to distributing weight and walking.

Knee braces can also protect the knee while waiting for surgery. Many clinics, especially in cities, have heavy patient schedules, and getting a time slot can take months in some places. Efforts to protect the knee so no further damage is done can be easily supported with a dog knee brace.