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Objective

To determine the incidence of medial meniscal tears in dogs with naturally occurring cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) disease treated with arthroscopy and tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO).

Study design

Retrospective case series.

Sample population

Canine Stifles (n = 357) with naturally occurring CCL disease.

Methods

Medical records (November 2006–November 2009) were reviewed for all dogs with CCL disease treated with arthroscopic CCL debridement, meniscal probing, and TPLO. We investigated the significance of the preoperative variables; age, weight, tibial plateau angle (TPA), sex, and the preoperative condition of the CCL on the prevalence of concurrent meniscal tears (CMT) and incidence of late onset meniscal tears (LMT).

Results

Prevalence of CMT and incidence of LMT was 32.2% and 5.6%, respectively. A significant difference between age of dogs with and without CMT was identified. There was a significantly lower prevalence of CMT and incidence of LMT in dogs that had a partial CCL tear compared with those that had a complete CCL tear. All dogs with LMT treated by partial meniscectomy (PMM) returned to peak postoperative limb function after (PMM) based on client-assessed outcomes.

Conclusions

This study demonstrates the importance of LMT as a complication, the importance of comprehensive meniscal assessment, and may add to the evidence against routinely performing meniscal release in TPLO. The preoperative condition of the CCL should be considered before operating on grossly normal menisci.