Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 2022; 35(04): 263-269
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1748858
Original Research

Arthroscopic Caudal Cruciate Ligament Damage in Canine Stifles with Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease

Kimberly A. Agnello
1   Department of Clinical Sciences and Advanced Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Dorothy Cimino Brown
2   Elanco Animal Health, Greenfield, Indiana, United States
Samuel G. Zyla
3   Department of Biological Sciences, The State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, United States
Kei Hayashi
4   Department of Clinical Sciences, Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ithaca, New York, United States
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.


Objective The aim of this study was to describe the arthroscopic changes to the caudal cruciate ligament (CdCL) in dogs with cranial cruciate ligament disease.

Study Design Arthroscopic video recordings (n = 117) of the stifle with cranial cruciate ligament disease were reviewed. The extent of CdCL tearing was described. Signalment, palpable stifle stability and the presence of a meniscal tear were recorded. Pathology of the synovial joint and the synovium overlying the CdCL were scored at two time points.

Two-way interactions were investigated (p < 0.05). Univariate analysis and a Wald test (p < 0.20) were performed. Factors were retained with a Wald test p < 0.05 or if a confounder, then a changing model coefficient >15%. A weighted kappa statistic was used to evaluate intraobserver agreement.

Results Caudal cruciate ligament tearing was identified in 94% of stifles. Longitudinal tearing (76%) was the most common type of damage (45% partial, 31% full thickness). Synovitis was present in all joints and changes to the synovium overlying the CdCL were less frequently identified (67%).

Synovitis was associated with the degree to CdCL tearing. Synovitis overlying the CdCL was associated with lower body weight and lower CdCL damage.

Conclusion Caudal cruciate ligament damage is common in dogs with cranial cruciate ligament disease and longitudinal tearing was the most common injury identified. Severity of joint pouch synovitis was positively correlated with the degree of CdCL damage and the portion of the CdCL not exposed to the synovium was unaffected. These findings suggest synovitis is likely a contributor to CdCL injury.

Authors' Contributions

K.A.A. contributed to the conception of study, study design, and data acquisition, analysis and interpretation. D.C.B. contributed to conception of study, and data analysis and interpretation. S.G.Z. contributed to the data acquisition. K.H. contributed to the conception of study, study design and data interpretation. All authors drafted, revised and approved the submitted manuscript; and are publicly accountable for relevant content.

Publication History

Received: 27 May 2021

Accepted: 04 May 2022

Article published online:
22 June 2022

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