What Is A Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL)?

balto brace jump on dog in the mountains

Signs that your dog might have a Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) injury

One of the most common injuries experienced by dogs is an injury to their knee, making it the leading cause for orthopedic surgery in canines. Out of all the possible knee injuries in dogs, Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) injuries are the most common cause of hind end lameness in canines. Additionally, there is a 70% chance of injury to the contralateral leg, and about 40% of dogs with Luxating Patella experienced concurrent cruciate rupture. Dog knee braces are an alternative to support the healing of a CCL injury or to prevent further damage pre- and post-operative.

Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Injury

The CCL connects the dog’s tibia to its femur using connective tissue to stabilize the knee (similar to an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) found in humans). There are several degrees of injury that can occur to the CCL ranging from a partial tear to a full rupture. Common signs that might signal that your dog has injured their CCL include:

  • Lameness or limping (commonly referred to as “bunny hopping”)
  • Favoring a leg
  • Stiffness after exercise or periods of rest
  • Difficult lying down or standing up

Depending on the severity of the injury, your veterinarian may recommend a knee brace for conservative management or surgery. Knee braces can also be used in place of surgery for dogs that are not a good surgical candidate (age, disease, weight, etc.), expenses, or simply wanting to approach the injury holistically.

A more popular use for dog braces is for pre- and post-operative support. The Balto Ligatek allows for you to control the range of motion (ROM) for a gradual return to movement after surgery which plays a key role in a successful recovery. If you are needing more compression to help the increase blow flow and reduce pain then the Balto Jump is a great option. These braces can also be used bilaterally for contralateral support.