A ligament consists of tough, fibrous tissue connecting two bones. In the knee, rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament allows the femur (thigh bone) to slide back and forth over the tibia (shinbone).
The rupture first causes pain, then abnormal wear and tear leading to arthritis. Surgical repair of the torn ligament is recommended. Radiographs and an ACL consult with Dr. Dave is required before surgery. Depending on the severity and the breed, referral to a special orthopedic surgeon may be needed.