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Originally described by DeAngelis and subsequently refined by Flo, Olmstead and many others, some kind of lateral suture is the most common means of stabilizing the Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CrCL) deficient stifle.

By placing some kind of prosthesis from the lateral femur to the proximal tibia in the same plane as the CrCL the stifle becomes stable and maintains a full range of movement. Various materials have been tried over the years; braided nylon, monofilament nylon, stainless steel wire and some of the long term absorbable sutures. All typically fail at between 6 or 8 weeks. This failure does not affect the outcome of the procedure, stability coming as it does from peri-articular fibrosis in the long term.

The current material of choice is monofilament nylon leader line. This material is stronger and more resistant to abrasion than normal monofilament nylon. Currently choice of leader line is between different brands rather than appropriately specified materials.

Joining free ends of heavy monofilament nylon is not without difficulty. Knots tend to be bulky, stretch and cause seromas and pain. Joining by stainless steel crimp has been shown to be as or more secure and leaves a small radio opaque connection.

Veterinary Instrumentation's Lateral Suture System uses 'Ande' leader line and is available in a range of appropriate sizes.

Lateral Suture
Lateral Suture photo

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