Cruciate Ligament Rupture

Description: The cranial cruciate ligament is one of the four tough bands of tissue that hold a knee together. Cruciate ligament ruptures are due to cranial cruciate ligament disease. Cranial cruciate ligament disease and cruciate ligament ruptures are common with many dog breeds.

Causes: Cranial cruciate ligament disease can be due to obesity, aging, genetics, poor physical condition, breed, or any combination of these factors. Overweight dogs may face a greater risk due to the increased weight on their joints. These injuries may also be caused by structural abnormalities (e.g., medial patella luxations), which cause undue stress on the ligaments. Degeneration over time can result in a rupture of one or both cranial cruciate ligaments. A tear or complete rupture is more likely to occur after repetitive movements cause many micro-injuries to the area. The final wrong repetitive movement that results in the complete rupture might occur when the pet jumps off the couch or up into the truck, or it could be more dramatic, like when the pet decides to chase a squirrel.

What to Watch For: When a pet damages its cruciate ligament, subtle lameness, stiffness, or slowness might arise. When the pet completely ruptures the cruciate ligament, the dog will suddenly appear very lame and likely in pain. Your pet may limp or be unable to bear weight on his leg, and may also have an unusual range of movement. Additional signs include pain and swelling.

Diagnosis: Your veterinarian will examine the leg for unusual movement of the joint. A diagnostic evaluation includes a cranial drawer test, which requires specific manipulation of the joint to test its mobility. In order for this test to be done appropriately, the dog often needs pain killers or even an anesthetic. Often radiographs are also done to best detail all possible damage to the knee and other local bones.

Treatment: Depending on the age and size of your pet, surgical correction is often done to stabilize the knee and help prevent arthritis. Physical therapy and multimodal pain management are usually necessary for the best outcome. Keeping your pet at a healthy weight, feeding a high quality diet, and avoiding too much twisting of the knees (like playing Frisbee) are key in avoiding this painful injury.

Treatment Cost: TPLO surgery: $1,500 - $3,000+.

Example claim 1:

Total claim amount: $6,798.45

Deductible applied: $0.00

10% coinsurance: -$653.45

Trupanion repaid: $5,881.01

Example claim 2:

Total claim amount: $4,957.94

Deductible applied: $0.00

Ineligible costs (boarding, exam fee): $206.22

10% coinsurance: -$475.17

Trupanion repaid: $4,276.55

Breeds prone to Cruciate Ligament Rupture include:


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