Use of Orthotics Compared to Surgical Intervention in Canines for Treating Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injuries

Date of Award

Summer 6-25-2024

Document Type

Non Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Orthotics and Prosthetics



First Advisor

Amy Funke



One of the significant causes of instability of the joint, pain, lameness, and other conditions in a canine's stifle joint is a Cranial cruciate ligament injury. This is quite often treated surgically, but sometimes, that is not an option due to concerns such as age, size, other comorbidities, or costs associated with surgery. Orthotics and prosthetics are catching on with some veterinarians, but many still do not see the potential for the benefit they provide. The use of a stifle orthosis to treat cranial cruciate ligament injuries is believed to be an effective option for treatment when surgery is not an option. This study used pre-and post-treatment evaluation by a veterinarian to observe 30 canines that met specific criteria and underwent surgical treatment for an injury to their cranial cruciate ligament and 30 who received an orthosis as a treatment for a cranial cruciate ligament injury. It used a lameness scale of 0-5; these values were recorded at their initial appointment before treatment and following treatment at their follow-up appointment. The study looked to see if there are similar recovery levels with both treatment options. If the data that has not yet been gathered proves the hypothesis correct and orthoses can provide recovery rates on par with, or close to, the surgical treatment method, it could lead to increased use of orthoses as treatment options in canines and other animals.

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