Veterinary SurgeryOrthopedicNeurological Soft TissuePreoperative ServicesPostoperative Services

TightRope Cranial Cruciate Procedure

TightRopeR Implant:

The TightRope was developed by Arthrex Vet Systems to improve upon the extracapular procedure used for years in veterinary medicine to stabilize the cranial cruicate deficient stifle.  This technique does not require cutting of the bone as do the tibial plateau leveling osteotomy and tibial tuberosity advancement.  The TightRope utilizes small bone tunnels created with a drill in both the femur and tibia.  The implant is placed through these tunnels and fixed in place to eliminate abnormal motion.  The implant is made of a biomaterial called FiberTapeR.  FiberTapeR is a kevlar-like material used extensively in human surgery for many orthopedic applications.  This material has properties which make is stronger and less prone to failure than the other suture materials(monofilament nylon) used for cranial cruciate reconstructions.


All dogs with cranial cruciate deficient stifles(knees) will develop arthritis.  Research has not born out a benefit of any procedure over the other with respect to arthritis.  The purpose of surgery to restore stability to the knee that existed prior to the cranial cruciate tear.  Surgical stabilization using any method is not a cure for arthritis. 

Post-operative Complications:

All surgical procedures has potential complications associated with them.  The overall complication rate for the TightRopeR procedure is currently 20%.  There have been 0% catastrophic complications or complications resulting in permanent disability or death.  There has been a 9.9% rate of major complications (4% meniscal tears; 3.1% implant/technique failures; 2.8% infection) which are complications that require further treatment.  There has been 10.1% minor complication rate which have not required additional surgical or medical treatment to resolve.  Click on this link to view Arthrex Data on TightRope - TightRope-CCL-MultiSite-Data-Sept-09

How to be Successful:

The most important thing you can do after surgery is to following your discharge instructions exactly.  Come to your follow-up appointments so we can assess healing and make sure things are going well.  Report any concerns immediately so we can take care of any issues as soon as possible.  This is more important than what occurs in surgery.  Keep your pet at its ideal weight.  Overweight dogs have more difficulty with recovery and arthritis pain.