Anatomy of the canine stifle

Your dog’s stifles (i.e., knee joints) absorb a lot of impact as they run, jump, and play. To understand cranial cruciate ligament rupture, you must first understand the components of the stifle joint. This stifle is composed of the femur (i.e., thigh bone), tibia (i.e., shin bone), and patella (i.e., kneecap). Four ligaments—the cranial cruciate, caudal cruciate, medial collateral, and lateral collateral ligaments—are primarily responsible for stabilizing the stifle. The medial and lateral menisci act as cushions between the femur and tibia, and help provide congruency and further stabilize the joint.

Canine cranial cruciate ligament

The canine cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), which is the anatomical equivalent to the human anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), has three functions:

  • It limits hyperextension of the stifle
  • It limits internal rotation of the tibia, relative to the femur
  • It prevents front-to-back sliding motion (i.e., drawer motion) of the tibia relative  to the femur.

Canine Cranial Cruciate Ligament Explained

From CCL disease information to diagnosis and treatments.

CCL Disease

What is cranial cruciate ligament disease? Learn more about CCL disease, the risk factors and pain resulting from CCL disease.

CCL Rupture Diagnosis

There are several test to assess your dog for CCL rupture. Learn more about early signs and diagnostic testing.

CCL Treatment Options

CCL disease is manageable through medical and surgical treatments. Learn more about available options for managing CCL disease.

TPLO Post-operative Information Explained

What to know after Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy.

Post-TPLO Recovery

What to expect and what to do during the first 8 weeks of recovery.

Post-operative Lameness

Understanding lameness after your dog has TPLO. Learn more about early signs and symptoms of lameness.

Arthritis Management

Explore different arthritis management techniques and treatments to help your dog.