- Acute injury: A sudden lameness from direct trauma resulting in shearing of the ligament. These occur most frequently in young, highly athletic energetic dogs and are extremely painful, usually associated with significant swelling of the knee. Often the pet is unwilling to bear weight on the affected leg.
- Chronic injury: A lameness that has been noticeable on and off for an extended time and progresses over time. This occurs most often in adult dogs, and is seen primarily in large and giant breeds. Arthritis is usually evident in the joint along with loss of hind leg muscle mass.
A Common Hind Leg Lameness
Image Credit: Facebook Fan Cindy C. A Common Hind Leg Lameness: Cruciate Ligament Disease Knees are complicated joints. The normal biomechanics* of the knee can vary due to breed variances in build, obesity, genetic abnormalities, and hormonal effects on bone growth. In fact, knee injury - specifically cruciate ligament injury - is the most common cause of rear leg lameness in dogs. Other causes of knee pain/lameness may include: patella luxation, infectious joint disease, cartilage damage, arthritis, fractures, bone disease, and muscle strains. This article will hone in on knee ligament injury, specifically the torn Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL). Like a machine, the knee joint works beautifully if all the parts and forces are correctly measured and applied. When a single applied force or multiple forces over time is greater than what the knee can absorb, the pieces of the machine wear out or break down. In living creatures like our beloved dogs, this ‘break down’ may manifest as pain, limping, or swelling. At this time people may choose to give their dog CBD for Pets as it can be helpful for easing the swelling and giving pain relief to our beloved pooches. The knee receives physical inputs and energy from both below and above the joint. The primary purpose of the CCL is to stabilize the knee joint by preventing unwanted forward or internal rotation of the tibia (the long bone just below the knee), and protect the knee from hyperextension. When the CCL is not functioning (in the case of a partial or complete tear), the joint becomes lax and unstable. This instability creates abnormal force distribution and movement in the joint which leads to pain, swelling, and destruction of other vital tissues in the knee. CCL injuries fit into two general categories