NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Most of us know that a torn ACL is a knee injury that often happens to athletes. In fact, Saints wide receiver Joe Morgan tore his ACL at the start of last year’s training camp. But your dog can get a torn knee ligament too, and, just like humans, dogs need surgery to repair the injury.
Dr. Rose Lemarie, with Southeastern Veterinary Specialists in Metairie, talked to WGNO in the surgery recovery room. Dr. Lemarie had just operated on a Lab-Rottweiler mix named Rolf, to repair a torn cruciate ligament in Rolf’s left leg.
During surgery, Dr. Lemarie realigned the lower bone in Rolf’s leg and then inserted a steel plate to stabilize the leg—replacing the need for the torn ligament.
Dr. Lemarie says torn cruciate ligaments are the most common orthopedic condition veterinarians see in dogs, and when the ligament tears in one leg, it will usually tear in the other as well– often within the year. And each surgery requires a long recovery. Dogs usually go home a few days afterward, but must be confined to a kennel for about two months and allowed outside only for bathroom breaks.
When she’s asked if veterinary surgery, using plates and pins, is a little like carpentry, Dr. Lemarie laughs and says there’s one key difference.
“Wood doesn’t have to take time to heal,” she says, “bone does.”