Common surgeries for which rehabilitation may be helpful include TPLO, post-disc, cruciate ligament repairs, total hip replacements, fracture repairs, back and neck surgeries, femoral head and neck ostectomies (FHO's), patella luxations, elbow surgery/arthroscopy, and other orthopedic-related surgery.
There is potential in all dogs and especially those that are very active or susceptible based on breed for injuries that include but are not limited to knees, shoulders, hips, backs, and necks. Dogs who have suffered injury affecting the muscles, bones, ligaments, or tendons may benefit from rehabilitation.
We will contact your family veterinarian and/or surgeon for referral information on the injury/condition.
Monty's Case Summary:
Monty is a 5-year-old neutered male Goldendoodle who received 3 months of physical rehabilitation therapy with CRCG after a TPLO surgery to stabilize his right stifle (knee) after he tore his cranial cruciate ligament or CCL (the canine equivalent of a human's ACL). His owners were dedicated to his recovery, limiting his activity carefully, following our recommendations for walks and home exercises, and bringing him in every week for rehab visits. His rehab therapy at CRCG consisted of laser therapy to decrease pain and inflammation, massage to tight muscles, and strengthening exercises to increase muscle mass in his hind limbs. We also used the underwater treadmill to allow him to walk with the buoyancy of the water decreasing the stress on his joints and the resistance of the water providing extra work for his muscles. With the help of his rehab therapy and hard work by his owners, he recovered smoothly and quickly. Unfortunately, shortly after finishing rehab for his right stifle, he tore the CCL in his left stifle and had a TPLO surgery on that limb. Because of the positive results with rehabilitation after his first surgery, his owners returned to us for another course of rehab after his second surgery. He has minimal muscle atrophy (muscle loss) after his second surgery because of all the strengthening work we did after his first surgery so he's doing extremely well and making even faster progress the second time around.
Lola Case Study (Post-op)
Lola is a 4-year-old FS golden retriever service dog that was diagnosed with bilateral medial coronoid disease at a year old (right worse than left). Bilateral subtotal coronoidectomies have been performed on each elbow twice; the most recent occurred in early November 2014. Lola responded well to rehab after the first surgery, so her owners are pursuing it again this time. She had eight full weeks of rest before rehab was begun in December 2014. Her service duties were suspended during her recovery time. Initially, Lola had a normal gait in her LF, but a grade 3/5 lameness in her RF. Her right elbow only flexed to 72°, and her left elbow to 55° (normal 20-40°). Both had normal extension. Her muscle mass was moderately decreased bilaterally in her triceps, biceps, supra- and infraspinatus, rhomboid, and latissimus muscles. We focused on pain management and increasing range of motion for therapy, as well as strengthening her forelimb muscles. Cold laser, joint traction, therapeutic ultrasound, and the underwater treadmill were used at weekly rehab appointments, and she performed simple exercises at home. After a brief setback when she slipped on ice and exacerbated her elbow pain (especially on her left fore), she is gradually becoming more comfortable on her forelimbs. She has gained 20° of flexion in her right forelimb with consistent passive range of motion that the owners are doing at home, and she is on a good path to recovery with a gentle rehab plan.