Ben is a working Springer Spaniel who suffered a rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament in his right stifle (knee) joint. Ben was referred to a specialist orthopaedic veterinary surgeon who performed a TPLO (tibial plateau levelling osteotomy) operation to stabilise the joint.
Post surgery Ben was weight bearing on the injured limb but presented with an obvious lameness at a walking pace. When trotting an intermittent skip on the right hind limb was observed. In a standing position Ben displayed reduced weight bearing on the right hind limb and was offloading weight onto his left hind limb, subsequently increasing the pressure on the ligaments of the stifle joint. There was also muscular atrophy (wasting) apparent through the hamstring and quadriceps muscle groups of the right hind limb due to compensatory movement.
The main aims of Ben’s physiotherapy treatment were to increase muscular support and facilitate full range of movement of the right stifle joint. Another important aim was to increase weight bearing on the injured limb in order to relieve the additional pressure being placed on the opposite stifle joint due to compensatory weight shifting.
Ben was treated with Low Level LASER Therapy to the right stifle joint to promote circulation to the area and accelerate the healing process. Passive range of movement and weight shifting exercises were performed to encourage weight bearing and full joint movement. A home exercise plan was also devised for Ben which his owner completed between sessions. Ben then progressed onto hydrotherapy treatment to further aid muscle strengthening.
Ben’s owners were committed to his recovery and through the implementation of a multimodal approach to treatment including surgery, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, Ben made excellent progress. Over a year later he has made a full recovery and is back to working as a gundog, regularly out beating and picking up on shoots throughout the season.