Charlie tore his right ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) when he was about a year and a half old and the left ligament tore about two months later.
In both cases Charlie had to have a special TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy)surgery performed by a veterinarian certified in the procedure. Read more about TPLO
Charlie did pretty well with the first surgery and was up with help (thanks Jim and Jan) after a week and walking on his own within two weeks.
His second surgery, coming so soon after the first, left him pretty discouraged. It was a cold rainy day coming home from the vet's and Charlie did not want to get out of the car and walk into the house. Charlie, weighing more than 150 pounds, was too big to carry. A solution was found as Charlie was taken into the house via a little red wagon. Most of Charlie fit into the wagon though there was a lot of Charlie left hanging from all sides.
A couple of weeks following his second surgery Charlie should have been walking more than he was. He did not want to put any weight on his leg and a trip to the vet and some x-rays explained the reason. The fibula had broken at the head, near the knee. Poor Charlie was trying to walk on a broken leg.
His left leg finally healed but is a little more crooked than the right and still gives him problems from time to time.
Charlie's first surgery was on his right knee. Charlie's second and third surgeries were on his left knee.
During his recovery period, Charlie would be pulled around the house while he lay on his "blankie". He enjoyed going for these rides, thank goodness for wood floors. Every time we would get his blankie out he was convinced it was time for another ride.
In 2008, Charlie had a third surgery to straighten his left leg. A portion of his knee had collapsed, turning the knee inwards and causing a great deal of pain when he walked.
Charlie's third surgery, on his left knee, required an external fixation device (the steel bars) to help hold his leg in place while the bones healed. Dr. Scott Knox, Animal Medical Hospital, performed all three surgeries. Following this third surgery his left leg is much straighter and he can walk, run, and play, though much more slowly.
Bottom LEFT photo is the normal knee anatomy. Bottom RIGHT photo - light red circle outlines Charlie's leg that had "blown out." X-rays confirmed that Charlie had osteosarcoma.