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Miage is an 11-year-old working sheepdog with a passion for scentwork. She was presented to Hamilton Specialist Referrals (HSR) in June 2020 with a right hindlimb lameness.


Physical examination and review of Miage’s x-rays confirmed a rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in this limb.


Cruciate disease is the most common cause of pelvic limb lameness for which we surgically treat dogs at HSR. We frequently perform tibial plateau levelling osteotomy (TPLO) which is seen as the gold standard for the treatment of CCL rupture in small animals.


Miage was admitted to the hospital for TPLO surgery, which was performed by Clinical Director and Orthopaedic Specialist Dr Michael Hamilton using the Slocum technique.


This procedure involves cutting of the tibia (shin bone) immediately below the knee joint and rotating the top of the bone (tibial plateau) into a position which renders the CCL redundant.


The bone is stabilised using a plate and screws during the period of bony healing, which takes a minimum of six weeks. A portion of the meniscus (shock absorber in the knee) was damaged and was removed.

Following Miage’s discharge, her owners worked closely with our physiotherapy and rehabilitation team during the post-operative period, attending appointments for physiotherapy at the hospital, as well as carrying out an exercise programme at home under the guidance of our team.

Miage returned to HSR six weeks after her surgery, at which stage x-rays showed good healing of the bone and she had improved muscle mass on the operated leg. Both Michael and the physiotherapy team were pleased with her at this stage, and she has continued to progress well as she has made a return to her usual exercise regime and to her beloved scentwork.

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