Short-term outcomes of 43 dogs treated with arthroscopic suturing for meniscal tears associated with cranial cruciate ligament disease

Patrick J Rocheleau, Alexandria Robson, Sarah D Bird, Megan M Pickersgill, Kali A Holz
Vet Surg. 2024 Apr 9. doi: 10.1111/vsu.14092.

Objective: To describe short-term outcomes and complications in dogs receiving meniscal suturing and concurrent tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) with or without augmentation with an extracapsular suture.

Study design: Retrospective case series.

Animals: Forty-three client-owned dogs submitted for cruciate ligament disease.

Methods: Dogs were included if meniscal suturing was performed during or after a TPLO procedure. Criteria included an unstable medial meniscus without evidence of a tear, a caudal vertical longitudinal tear with or without displacement, or if a bucket-handle tear was debrided and the remaining rim was unstable. Stifle stabilization was performed by either a standard TPLO or an augmented TPLO (TPLO + internal brace [IB]). Outcome measures included physical examination findings, radiographs, subjective gait examination, Liverpool Osteoarthritis in Dogs (LOAD) scores, and second-look arthroscopy.

Results: Forty-four meniscal repairs were performed in 43 dogs. Five types of meniscal tears were treated employing eight suture materials. Complications were documented in 15 cases (34%). The stabilization technique had a significant impact on the outcome (p = .049): TPLO + IB had a 93.3% success rate and the success rate was 71.4% in the TPLO-only group.

Conclusion: Five types of meniscal pathology were addressed successfully in the study, indicating that currently accepted criteria for meniscal suturing in dogs may be overly conservative. The majority of complications were not related to the meniscal suturing itself and did not compromise the outcome. The stifle stabilization technique had an impact on outcome.

Clinical significance: The authors found arthroscopic meniscal suturing to be practical and successful in this patient population. Postoperative stifle stability had an impact on successful treatment.