Use of an owner questionnaire to evaluate long-term surgical outcome and chronic pain after cranial cruciate ligament repair in dogs: 253 cases (2004-2006).

Mölsä SH, Hielm-Björkman AK, Laitinen-Vapaavuori OM.
2013 Sept 1

Objective-To evaluate, by means of an owner questionnaire, long-term outcome and prevalence of chronic pain after cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) surgery in dogs. Design-Retrospective case series. Animals-253 dogs with surgically treated CCL rupture. Procedures-Data from surgical records of dogs that underwent surgical repair of CCL between 2004 and 2006 were reviewed. An owner questionnaire, including the validated Helsinki chronic pain index (HCPI), served to evaluate long-term outcome and prevalence of chronic pain after surgical repair by means of intracapsular, extracapsular, or osteotomy techniques. Additional questions inquired about recovery and rehabilitation after surgery, current well-being, medications, and adjunct treatments. Results-Of 507 questionnaires, 272 (53.6%) were returned; 19 were excluded because of incomplete answers. Mean ± SD follow-up time was 2.7 ± 0.8 years (range, 1.3 to 4.5 years). Owners considered surgical outcome as excellent in 122 of 226 (54.0%) dogs, good in 97 (42.9%), fair in 0 (0%), and poor in 7 (3.1%). At follow-up, the mean ± SD HCPI for 206 dogs was 8.9 ± 6.3 (range, 0 to 24). Of these 206 dogs, 64 (31.1%) had an HCPI ≥ 12, indicating chronic pain. Mean HCPI in dogs with a good outcome (11.8 ± 5.4; 95% confidence interval, 10.6 to 12.9) was significantly higher than that for dogs with an excellent outcome (6.2 ± 5.7; 95% confidence interval, 5.1 to 7.2). Owner-reported postoperative lameness was significantly shorter after osteotomy techniques, compared with lameness duration after the intracapsular technique. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-On the basis of owner assessment, long-term chronic pain was found in approximately 30% of dogs after CCL repair.