Objectives: To quantify net joint moments, joint powers, and joint reaction forces (JRF) across the hock, stifle, and hip joints in Labrador Retrievers with and without cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) disease. To investigate differences in joint mechanics between normal, CCL deficient, and contralateral pelvic limbs.
Study Design: Cross-sectional clinical study.
Animals: Clinically normal (n=14) and CCL-deficient (n=9) Labrador Retrievers.
Methods: Each limb was analyzed separately and classified as normal, CCL-deficient or sound contralateral limb. Kinematic, ground reaction force (GRF), and morphometric data were combined in an inverse dynamic approach to compute hock, stifle and hip net moments, powers and JRF, while trotting.
Results: Vertical and braking GRF and JRF were significantly decreased in CCL-deficient limbs. In affected limbs, extensor moments at the hock and hip, flexor moment at the stifle and power in all 3 joints were less than normal. Kinetics also identified a greater joint moment and power of the contralateral limbs compared with normal, particularly of the stifle extensor muscles group.
Conclusion: Lameness resulting from CCL disease affected predominantly reaction forces during the braking phase and the extension during push-off. A greater contribution of the contralateral limbs to propel the dog forward was identified.
Clinical Relevance: Reductions in joint motion, loads, and muscle contraction were interpreted as modifications adopted to reduce or avoid painful mobilization of the injured stifle joint. The increased joint moment and power of the contralateral compensating side may correlate with the lameness observed, but also with the predisposition of contralateral limbs to CCL deficiency in dogs.