TTA Surgery for Tripawd? Yes, recovery is possible!
Our 4-year-old corgi mix, Juju, came from a reservation where she was hit by a car. Her rear left leg was amputated before we adopted her at 10 months old from Lightshine Canine. This summer she tore her cruciate ligament in her remaining back leg. She’s such an active and happy dog; it was hard to see her struggle so much to get around. After consulting with our vet and chatting with people on the Tripawds Forum, we found a vet who could perform a TTA surgery.
What is TTA Surgery? TTA is the abbreviation for Tibial Tuberosity Advancement. This a surgical procedure used to treat cranial (or anterior) cruciate ligament rupture in the knee joints (stifle) of dogs. It involves cutting the top of the shin bone (the tibia), moving it forward and stabilizing it in its new position.
I have been nervous every step of the way, but Juju keeps reminding me that she is resilient. The vet who performed the surgery said Juju wouldn’t need any rehab or special recovery strategies, but I knew that she could use a little extra support so I contacted TC Rehab. They had a cancellation and were able to get us in to see Dr. Amy Whaley two weeks after her surgery. At the appointment they took measurements of her joints and angles. As far as performing exercises, they didn’t recommend much besides rest, which I already knew.
She needs time to heal her now broken bone (TTA involves an orthopedic implant). But they did recommend doing gentle range of motion movements with her leg. And the most helpful part of the visit was them fitting her for a good Tripawd harness that would help me help her walk. They stressed the importance of giving her support since she doesn’t have another hind leg to offer that support. They also lent us some wheels to try out. Juju isn’t a fan of those, but I think she may enjoy them someday if she really needs the freedom they could provide.
Recovery from TTA Surgery for Tripawd
She still has healing to do, another month of strict leash walks. Her recovery has definitely had extra challenges since she is a Tripawd. The stiff bandage that she had to wear for several days after surgery was so hard for her to navigate, especially when she needed to potty. She is also pretty bored. She is used to more activity than she is allowed right now. I have tried finding ways to offer her some enrichment.
I borrowed a dog stroller from a friend and a bike trailer from another friend. She despises both. She is so independent and thinks she should be able to move around normally. We have some puzzle games that give her something to do and we sit in the grass in the yard on nicer days. My hope is that she can have full off-leash fun by the time the cooler weather rolls around because that is her favorite. I can’t wait to explore nature with her again and witness her joy.
~ Clara, and Tripawd Juju (aka: yclaray)