Laser Therapy Case Reports - Part 2
In these next two articles, I will briefly discuss six more dogs with injured Cranial Cruciate Ligaments (CCl), four with partial tears that healed completely without surgery and two with complete ruptures of the CCL which required surgery. All dogs responded very nicely with the laser therapy, returning to a lame-free gait. As mentioned last month, if the ligament is only partially torn, I have found that in the majority of cases, laser therapy with restriction of activity has been a successful and affordable option for the treatment of this common orthopedic injury.
In Part V, I introduced Zeus, a beautiful, black German Shepherd with a partially torn right CCL, whose owners were ready to proceed with surgery; decided to consult with me for a second opinion, and after I also found joint effusion in the left knee due to a strained CCL, elected to give laser therapy a "try". After the first six treatments, according to his owners, "he was almost back to normal." Today, seven months after his injury, he has had a total of twelve treatments, including a few maintenance treatments; for less than 1/10 the cost of the CCL surgery, Zeus enjoys life once again with long walks with his owners free of any lameness.
Bak, a working black/tan German Shepherd owned by the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department injured his left CCL, developing a partial tear after jumping. Bak also went through a similar laser treatment program as Zeus and we were very pleased that eight months after his injury, the outcome was as successful as Zeus. Even though Bak's right knee was not injured, I will often treat both knees to prevent inflammation from potential overuse since these dogs are usually quite lame on the injured leg.
Libby is a friendly and energetic Yellow Labrador Retriever that over the years put on too much weight. Her owners scheduled an appointment with me because she would become stiff and uncomfortable after exercising. After diagnosing her with an almost complete tear of the left CCL, her owners elected to proceed with laser therapy as compared to surgery, with the understanding that surgery may inevitably be needed. After five treatments, she was doing so well that her owners elected to wait and see how she did before scheduling additional sessions and remarkably she healed completely without any further treatment. I would still advise an occasional treatment to insure long-term success, but Libby has now been free of lameness for ten months.
- to be continued next monthâ€¦
William T. Carlisle, DVM