TightRope® CCL Fixation System: Dorie’s Knee Surgery

The TightRope surgery was developed as an upgrade to the lateral suture stabilization (LSS) for cruciate injuries in dogs.

Is it a better technique with better results? Both techniques have their risks to reward ratio. While stronger than surgical suture, the perception is that the patented braided TightRope material is the main reason for potential complications. It has, however, worked for many dogs.

Further information: My Two Cents on the TightRope® CCL Fixation System

TightRope® CCL Fixation System: Dorie's Knee Surgery. The TightRope surgery was developed as an upgrade to the lateral suture stabilization (LSS) for cruciate injuries in dogs.

Dorie’s story

Dorie was a 7-year-old Labrador Retriever. She was happy and active, always making sure the world was running the way it should and letting it know she was watching. Dorie lived in a rural area, and there were critters that needed to know to whom the land belongs. Every morning, Dorie would go outside to potty and made her rounds.

Dorie starts limping

That morning, her mom let Dorie out while she was getting ready for work. When Dorie returned, she was limping. It was wet outside, and Dorie’s mom figured that she might have slipped and pulled a muscle a little bit. The day went on, and Dorie continued to limp. She remained lame for the rest of the day and was not improving with passing time.

Visiting the veterinarian

The veterinarian examined Dorie and suspected a torn cruciate ligament. Dorie’s appointment for further investigation and x-rays was scheduled for the next day. Meanwhile, Dorie could go home with a prescription for pain medications.

The diagnosis

Examination under sedation and x-rays confirmed the suspicion—Dorie injured her cruciate ligament. Dorie’s mom was stressed about the diagnosis; none of her dogs ever needed surgery, and the knee surgeries and their cost seemed daunting.

After several conversations, the veterinarian recommended the TightRope Stabilization. It is less invasive and more affordable. Even though Dorie is a big girl, he believed it should work for her. He’s done this procedure successfully for a staffer’s dog who weighed 120 pounds.

The treatment

After deliberation, Dorie’s parents decided to go ahead with the TightRope option.

Before the surgery, Dorie’s parents took all precautions to make her rehabilitation smooth and safe. Their preparations included:

  • ramp to get in and out of the yard safely
  • a pen to keep her confined during the early stages
  • a large cage in the bedroom to keep her safe but close to everybody
  • purchase of an inflatable e-collar and sling harness
  • joint supplements

Dorie’s surgery went well, and she was off to a good start. Her parents followed the recommended post-op plan carefully.

A setback

Everything went well for the first 3 weeks. Then, one morning, Dorie first seemed lame on her injured leg yet again and then wouldn’t walk at all. Her Mom rushed Dorie to an emergency vet, thinking that she re-injured the knee.

Unfortunately, Dorie’s other knee ligament was now damaged too. It happens often, and her parents knew it was a possibility. Yet, it is crushing news when it does occur.


On the recommendation of Dorie’s veterinarian, they started intensive laser therapy on both of her knees. Dorie was improving, so they continued the treatments.

It’s been a long journey, but Dorie continued to improve. Hopefully, her knees won’t cause her any further trouble.

Source story:
7-Year-Old Dorie – Lateral Suture (Tightrope)

Related articles:
Talk To Me About Dog ACL/CCL Injuries: My Dog Ruptured Their Cruciate Ligament
CCL Tears TightRope Repair: My Two Cents on the TightRope® CCL Fixation System

Further reading:
Cranial Cruciate Ligament Repair: Extracapsular Repair and TightRope Procedure
Surgery STAT: Tightrope CCL

Categories: CCL injuriesConditionsDog health advocacyJoint issuesKnee issuesLamenessLimpingReal-life StoriesSymptomsTightRope

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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