Emart avatar image

Pinky's ACL surgery recovery

Hello all, I posted awhile back in march asking advice about Acl surgery for my bully. I decided to go ahead with the surgery and Pinky is almost 8 weeks post op. my concern now for her is that she still limps. According to her vet, she has a luxating patella in the leg that she tore her acl and he detected that the first day I took her in. He said that her patella could be the reason why Pinky tore her acl in the first place and he said she is a grade 2 and does not need any surgery for it. Now that pinky had the extracapsular repair surgery for her acl I noticed that she has been walking with a limp quite often these past 3 weeks. We have been to her vet plenty of times due to follow ups and draining her knee three times. He says that it's good to see Pinky walking on her leg but he thinks she is walking with a limp because of her patella. He says that she is still a grade 2 with the patella. I just feel frustrated because pinky should be at the end of her recovery time for her acl surgery but it seems that she is not fine due to her patella. In my opinion, I kind of feel like her patella may be worse than before her acl surgery. I don't know. I'd like to ask all those who have gone through acl surgery with their bully's how long did the whole recovery take? Does anybody have experience with luxating patellas? Has anybody gone through their bully having both a luxating patella and a torn acl? Please provide any feedback that you may think is helpful to my bully's situation. 

our bully has this patella issue

He hasn't had a torn acl but we noticed after playing and running hard he would limp for a few hours after. so we prevent him from running to hard for more than 20 min at a time. When we just had his last visit, our vet noticed his patella popping out of place when she was checking his range of motion hence the limping after running hard. I would imagine its when he turns a charp corner while running is when it happens. Do you have any access to physical therapy options. I wonder if it is like humans who have torn there acl. usually you need to strengthen the muscles conected to the acl, which could also maybe help the knee cap from popping out? Sounds easier said than done and just a theory, I hope someone else has experience to offer, but you are not alone..



Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

What did you do post op?

crate and expen restriction, leash only, no stairs, no running, no jumping? The surgery is only as good as the post op recovery.

I had a Gr 3 rated Patella, opted not to do surgery and she is now 7 and doing just fine on the knee. She had a CCL surgery on the opposite leg 6 yrs ago and is doing good.

If you have water therapy available I would recommend it.

Was it the knee they were draining? If so, why? Why was it building up fluid?

Never had a problem with fluid buildup in the 2 surgeries I've had done. I would think this would have slowed the recovery especially if there was infection causing the fluid buildup. 7 weeks is not the end of the recovery IMO. It is about mid recovery, another 2 months then I would consider that the end of recovery. Especially if there were problems like the fluid during those first few weeks that has slowed recovery process.

I gave my bitch 6 months of recovery time before I put her back in the show ring.

Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

Walking on the leg

was she packing the leg after surgery? Both of mine walked out of the clinic after surgery and never packed the leg. If she packed it, how long did she pack it.

Did you use a othro specialist or your vet?

mrhig2004's picture

ACL and Patella

Mr. Higgins` right knee was deemed "fine" at the time of his left luxating patella surgery. At 8 weeks post op, the right knee had gone to a grade 3, and that was during restricted activity. So all I am saying is the grade can change rather quickly without activity being the cause. (just genetics) You cannot go wrong getting a second opinion.
Also, my boy had a large persistent seroma and this can really impede healing. Mr. Higgins had his drained many times and it finally went away on it`s own after almost a year.Did the fluid return after draining?
Best of luck, and I hope things turn out well.


mrhig2004's picture

I forgot

I forgot to tell you Mr. Higgins ended up with a second knee surgery on the left side,which was a patella removal, ACL repair and palate resection. He walks well now years later but his airway is bad again. I am just very very careful in warm temperatures. He is almost 9 and I want to avoid any more surgeries.