Your dog may be eligible for an Arthrex Vet Systems clinical trial. This randomized, double-blind study is an evaluation of the Arthrex Vet Knotless Anchor System for extra-articular Stifle Repair in dogs.

Similar to the ACL in humans, the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) is an important stabilizing structure in the knees (stifles) of dogs and cats. The CCL normally sits within the knee and is instrumental in assisting with articulation between the bones of the knee joint. During normal function, the CCL prevents abnormal movement of the bones. Injury to the CCL is common in dogs and results in abnormal laxity within the joint. Loss of stability of the knee leads to damage of structures within the knee and irreversible osteoarthritis.

Some of the clinical signs your pet may display are:
• Altered limb function (no weight bearing or limping)
• Reluctance to bend the knee (may be seen while sitting)
• Stiffness, especially after exercise
• Not wanting to play or exercise
• Swelling of the joint
• Clicking sound when walking

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The goal of this study is to compare short- and mid-term outcomes of the SwiveLock® Knotless Anchor System and Traditional Fabello-Tibial Suture stabilization in client-owned dogs with unilateral cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) rupture using a randomized, double-blinded clinical trial approach.

A number of assessment tools will be used to follow your dog’s recovery and function after surgery such as presence/absence of cranial drawer, progression of arthritis on x-rays, force-plate gait analysis, joint fluid biomarkers, and client surveys.

Enrollment is now open.

Study participants will need to commit to four total visits (the surgical visit and three follow-up visits) at Texas A&M University’s Veterinary Medical Hospital. Follow-ups occur at 6 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months after surgery. Typical estimates for surgery cost are around $2,200 to $2,500, however, a $1,200 reimbursement will be provided to each study participant upon completion of the 12 month follow-up appointment.

All procedures will be performed by board certified veterinary orthopaedic surgeons who are experienced in arthroscopy and stifle surgery.

SwiveLock® Knotless Anchor System

The SwiveLock Knotless technique is a minimally invasive technique that uses prosthetic materials designed to mimic the function of the CCL. The materials that sit on the outside of the knee (extra-articular) are secured using a vented PEEK SwiveLock Suture Anchor at points biomechanically similar to the CCL. This incredibly strong prosthetic material has been used with great success in human joint stabilizing procedures and provides the temporary stabilization necessary for scar tissue formation and long-term joint stability and function.

Traditional Fabello-Tibial Suture

This procedure involves placement of monofilament nylon suture around the femorofabellar ligament and through a tunnel in the proximal tibia, followed by tensioning of the suture and securing the suture with a small, cylindrical, stainless steel tube known as a crimp.

Regardless of the stabilizing suture technique performed, the joint examination, cruciate ligament debridement and meniscal inspection and debridement will be performed arthroscopically.

Surgery will take place at Texas A&M University Medical Teaching Hospital in College Station, TX. You will be required to transport your dog to and from this facility for surgery and follow up appointments.