Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Reptiles

Cranial cruciate ligament rupture

Synonym(s): Cruciate rupture

Contributor(s): Agata Witkowska, David Perpinan

Introduction

  • Cranial cruciate ligament rupture is poorly described in reptiles.
  • Cause: usually trauma related.
  • Signs: acute onset lameness, pain, stifle effusion, limb swelling.
  • Diagnosis:
    • Often based on presentation and clinical history.
    • General anesthesia, stifle joint mobility assessment and radiographs may be needed.
    • Positive drawer test made under sedation/anesthesia.
  • Treatment:
    • Conservative: rest, exercise restriction and analgesia.
    • Surgical fixation in big enough patients and where finances allow.
  • Prognosis: poor to guarded, depends on degree of severity and any other associated co-morbidity, eg underlying metabolic bone disease.
  • There is little information available on the normal anatomy of reptile species – it is unknown whether all species possess a cruciate ligament.
  • The anatomy of the Testudo genus of tortoises’ stifle is the same as in dogs except for a lack of a patella.
  • Surgical reconstruction of the cranial cruciate ligament has been described in a spur-thighed tortoise.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Predisposing factors

General

Specific

  • Traumatic event.

Pathophysiology

  • Uncertain.
  • Partial ruptures of the cruciate ligament with joint instability and stifle subluxations have been described.

Timecourse

  • Likely variable, from acute to progressive dependent on animal’s age and predisposing conditions such as osteoarthritis.
  • Dependent on detection and familiarity of keeper with normal mobility in the species as well as frequency of monitoring, eg outdoor enclosures.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Raftery A (2011) Reptile orthopedic medicine and surgery. J Exotic Pet Med 20 (2), 107-116 VetMedResource.
  • Anonymous (2009) Diagnosis: rupture of the caudal cruciate ligament. Lab Anim 38 (1), 10 PubMed.
  • Hernandez-Divers S (2002) Diagnosis and surgical repair of stifle luxation in a spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca). J Zoo Wildlife Med 33 (2), 125-130 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Doneley B, Monks D, Johnson R & Brendan C (2017) Differential Diagnoses: A Problem-Based Approach. In: Reptile Medicine and Surgery in Clinical Practice. Wiley & Sons, USA. pp 245.


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