Torn ACL in Dogs
How Bracing Helps
The ACL connects the bones above and below the knee. This ligament limits the bottom bone (the tibia) from sliding forward underneath the top bone (the femur.) This bad motion is called the cranial drawer.
Veterinarians test to see if the ACL is torn by a cranial drawer test. Your vet pushes forward with their thumb and pulls backward with their fingers as shown by the red arrows.
When the ACL is torn, the cranial drawer happens easily in your dog’s knee. It scares and hurts your dog to put weight on the leg when this motion happens. So they quit using the leg, and over the following weeks, muscles start shrinking from disuse.
If the cranial drawer motion is allowed to continue long term, arthritis forms in the joint. Arthritis can be painful and slow your dog’s activities later in life.
A torn ACL is the most common leg injury in dogs. It can be caused by strenuous activity, obesity, age, breed or a combination of all of those factors.
Talk to your veterinarian about a Hero brace as a treatment option when your dog tears his ACL. The brace applies the opposite forces (green arrows) to limit the cranial drawer.
Play sooner? Used alone OR to support surgery, a dog knee brace can provide a cost-effective permanent solution for your dog and get his mobility back.