In February 2008, our black lab (then just 4 years old) was in pretty bad shape. Both of her rear knees had gotten so bad she basically could no longer walk. We decided to proceed with a bilateral TTA (tibial tuberosity advancement) in both her hind legs. It was a tough decision for us, because it's not a cheap procedure and we weren't sure how we'd manage to keep her constrained for the 11-12 week recoup time.
I've blogged several times about how successful the operation was. She's really done excellent and there are no real hints of her knees ever bothering her. She'll occasionally get up slowly, but I can't say that's because of the surgery. What I do know is the dog still loves to run and jump. The knee surgery has not slowed her pursuit of climbing trees one bit, so I know she's doing well.
The other night my wife was playing around w/our new iPhone 3GS that we're trying out and I thought it was a good idea to post a video of her running and playing fetch in our yard. Well the video is not terribly exciting, I thought it might be useful for someone debating on whether or not it's worth the investment of the bilateral TTA procedure. I know in our case w/out the surgery we would have had to put her down—because she was just in too much pain and it was only going to get worse. So, seeing her run around today still thrills me to no end.
I try to play ball w/my labs for at least 30 minutes every day (weather pending.) I've run Nikki (our black lab) pretty hard this year and she's held up great. She'll run for as long as I'm willing to throw the ball and I've seen no side effects from the surgery at all. So here's she is doing her favorite activity in the world—playing fetch: