Tools of the trade: Cruciate Ligament Kit


Cruciate-instruments-001Review by Dr Glen Kolenc, Pet Vets, Petersham, NSW

This kit helps streamline the process of a variety of fiddly little steps in the surgical repair of the cruciate ligament. It has decreased my surgery time from an hour and 45 minutes to about 50 minutes. I have been delighted with this result.

What’s good about it

One part of the procedure is to drill a small hole through a piece of bone in order to pass through a nylon wire.  In the past I used a hand chuck which can be physically taxing if you’re dealing with a 40kg dog.

This kit comes with a small hand drill perfectly designed to create that hole. I’ve gone from 20 minutes of struggle, heat, sweat and occasional swear words to just easily drilling the hole in a minute or so.

After the hole is drilled, muscles and fat that lie over the bone tend to plug it. This always made it difficult to pass through the nylon wire.

This kit also contains a long thin metal probe with a tiny hole in one end to attach the nylon wire. It pushes easily through the muscles and the wire is threaded quickly and efficiently through the bone.

It also contains a set of crimps for securing the nylon and maintaining tension. This is a much better technique than tying a knot that can potentially cause a reaction.

What’s not so good

The only improvement would be if the kit came with a couple of different sized bone drills to suit different breeds of dogs. However, this is nit-picking—the drill is perfectly suited to the vast majority of dogs that need this operation.

Where did you get it

St Lucia Surgical Services,


  1. An easier way to drill the hole in the tibial crest is to elevate the cranial tibialis muscle with a bone chisel, then drill a hole with a cordless drill. Autoclave the drill but and a drill sock to handle the drill with sterility. Job done in a few seconds.


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