Mt. Houston Animal Clinic

1413 West Mt. Houston Rd
Houston, TX 77038


New Tightrope Procedure Offers New Hope

One of the most common knee injuries  in dogs  is the rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). For dogs over 40lbs, the most common method of treatment by many veterinary surgeons is a procedure called a TPLO.  This involves cutting the tibia bone and applying a bone plate to stabilize the CCL-deficient knee in these dogs. Now, a new minimally invasive technique option exits called the Tightrope procedure. This new procedure has fewer, and less severe complications than previous methods. It has been developed by a University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine researcher.

The new Tightrope technique, is a modification of human procedures used in ankle surgery.  A device is surgically placed that stabilizes the CCL-deficient knee through bone tunnels drilled using smaller incisions.

This new technique has the added advantage of being 1/3 the cost of the traditional TPLO. Dogs in a preliminary trial study experienced fewer and less severe complications. Outcomes were equal to those seen with the TPLO.

Mt. Houston Animal Clinic is one of the first hospitals in Houston to provide this procedure. We have been performing this procedure since the middle of 2008 with excellent results. Most dogs are beginning to walk the day following the procedure.

There are some pets that are not good candidates for the Tightrope procedure. Extremely active dogs where owners are unable curtail post-operative activity and dogs with limb deformities may not be candidates for this technique. The rehabilitation period is typical of other ACL surgeries, 10- to 12-weeks. Activity during this time is limited to leash walking.  

For more information, call 281-931-6237.