Correlation of Radiographic Changes after Tibial Tuberosity Advancement in Dogs with Cranial Cruciate-Deficient Stifles with Functional Outcome


Corresponding Author
Katja Voss, Dr med vet, Diplomate ECVS, University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Sydney, 65 Parramatta Road, Camperdown 2006 NSW, Australia


Objective: To (1) evaluate radiographic changes associated with osteoarthrosis (OA) before and after tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA) and (2) determine if these changes are indicative of limb function as determined by kinetic gait analysis.

Study Design: Prospective clinical study.

Animals: Dogs (n=35) with cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) deficient stifles (38).

Methods: Variables recorded were: complete or partial CCL rupture, meniscal lesions, arthroscopically graded cartilage lesions, complications, and revision surgeries. Radiographic evaluation and kinetic gait analysis (vertical ground reaction forces [GRFs]) were conducted pre- and 4–16 months postoperatively (mean, 5.9 months). Radiographs were evaluated without knowledge of operative findings and functional outcome. A score (0–3) based on new bone production at 11 specific sites was used to grade OA. Soft tissue changes were classified separately as normal or excessive. Preoperative scores were correlated with clinical variables. Postoperative scores and progression of OA scores were correlated with clinical variables and GRFs.

Results: OA remained unchanged in 17 joints and progressed in 21 (55%). Dogs with meniscal lesions had higher OA scores preoperatively, but not at follow-up. Dogs with severe cartilage lesions at surgery had more progression of OA. GRFs improved after surgery and were not correlated with any of the radiographic OA scores.

Conclusion: Progression of OA was greater in the presence of severe cartilage lesions at surgery. OA scores were not correlated with GRFs.

Clinical Relevance: Progression of OA is generally expected to occur after TTA despite improvement of limb function.