Cruciate Ligament Repair

De Angelis Technique

De Angelis Technique

Small dogs and cats usually do well with the De Angelis Technique.

Each veterinarian has a slight variation on the way they use this method of repair. It usually involves the positioning of up to 3 strands of prosthetic suture material in alignment to take the forces that the ruptured cruciate ligament used to.

The material is passed through a drill hole in the tibial crest (shin bone) – some vets use a bone tunnel, and around the back of the fabella (back knee cap) or through another bone tunnel in the condyle of the femur.

The prosthetic material is then tightened by either standard surgical knots or by a metal crimp. A lateral imbrication (tightening of the joint capsule) is also performed after cleaning out the joint and checking for tears in the meniscal pads.

At least 90% of these operations are very successful. Complications may arise from a reaction to the prosthetic suture material, infection and over exercising during recovery.

The De Angelis technique is NOT usually recommended for;

  • Dogs over 20kg
  • Dogs who are overactive or overweight

An animal who is over 20kg, overactive or overweight, will put a severe amount of pressure on the implant meaning there is a greater chance of breaking the suture material.

The De Angelis repair does not correct the anatomical problem, and as such, is not the best procedure for animals over 20kg or those who are overactive. This is however a more economical procedure and will still give a good result in up to 85% of cases.