Ability of the Tightrope® and Percutaneous Lateral Fabellar Suture Techniques to Control Cranial Tibial Translation


  • Work completed at the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL.



To compare the ability of the Tightrope® (TR) cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) technique, percutaneous lateral fabella suture (pLFS) technique, and normal CCL to control cranial tibial translation (CTT).

Study Design

In vitro biomechanical study.

Sample Population

Cadaveric canine pelvic limbs (n = 18 pairs).


Six small animal surgical residents (1 pair each) and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (10 pairs) performed TR and pLFS techniques on paired limbs. Two intact limb pairs served as controls. Limbs were assessed by palpation, radiographs, and dissection before mechanical testing of resistance to CTT. Forces resisted during displacement were compared between groups with a mixed ANOVA and post hoc tests.


With 5 mm of displacement, the pLFS resisted 72 ± 45 N and the TR resisted 66 ± 48 N of load. The intact CCL resisted 400 ± 35 N. The intact CCL resisted displacement significantly more than either surgical technique.


TR and pLFS had similar ability to resist CTT but neither restored the biomechanical properties of an intact CCL.