Question: If I think my dog has a torn ACL, should I get an X-ray from my vet?
Answer: Yes, it is critical that your veterinarian provides you with an X-ray if you have a suspicion of a torn ACL ligament. This is not to diagnose the problem, but to rule out any other problems that may create the same symptoms.
On occasion, lameness of a rear leg can also be caused by cancer of the joint, Synovial Sarcoma and/or Fibro Sarcoma. This happens infrequently, but you do not want to waste time or money using a Cruciate Brace for these problems. This would not only delay the proper treatments for the cancer, but could also decrease the chance of successful treatment.
MRI’s that are done in humans would be a preferred diagnostic option for a torn ACL ligament, however they are rarely used and quite expensive. Once you have a diagnosis of an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury then we would suggest obtaining an A-TraC Dynamic Brace first, before having surgery. This is the conservative treatment approach. There is no harm, only benefit to using a Cruciate Brace. If it the ACL injury does not benefit from this treatment, then surgery remains a viable alternative. The success of the brace has at least the same success rate as surgery, but without the risk of complications and the large expense.