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Physio post cranial cruciate ligament surgery

Research has shown that early formalised physiotherapy intervention, as part of the postoperative management of cranial cruciate ligament repair, can improve post surgical outcomes by; Improving limb function, building muscle strength and mass, preventing muscle atrophy, and regaining stifle joint range of movement. (Davidson et al, 2005, and Johnson and Johnson, (2003).

We work with closely with each veterinary surgeon to ensure that each individual surgeon's post-op protocols are adhered to.

Aims of Physiotherapy in initial post-operative period 1-2 weeks

  • Reduction of inflammation.

  • Reduction of pain.

  • Promote healing.

  • Regain gentle joint range of movement.

  • Promote correct loading of the affected limb.

  • Promote correct patterning with postural sets.

  • Prevent secondary compensatory issues such as muscle guarding.

  • Maintain soft tissue length and extensibility.

  • Advice and reassurance for the owner.

Treatment in this period may include: Gentle range of movement exs, ice therapy, gentle soft tissue massage, postural sets, balance and proprioception exs to encourage correct loading of the limb and electrotherapy,  

Weeks 2-6

  • Progress muscle strength.

  • Progress balance and proprioception exercises.

  • Regain full joint range of movement by 6 weeks.

  • Ensure correct movement patterning.

Weeks 6-12 and beyond

  • Restore muscle strength and ensure bulk equal bilaterally.

  • Increase exercise tolerance.

  • After 12 weeks- return to previous levels of fitness and progress to high level rehab if required.

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