Pet Orthopedic Surgery in South Charlotte


Dr. Allan Dozier has been performing veterinary orthopedic surgery for 40 years and has been a certified Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA) surgeon since 2005. He has performed this surgery on approximately 1,000 dogs of all sizes and on a wide range of ages and conditions. Rea Road Animal Hospital only uses all-titanium implants from their inventor, Kyon Inc.

One of the most common orthopedic problems in dogs is a ruptured ligament in the knee, called an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in humans or cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in dogs. This injury makes the knee unstable and leads to severe arthritis if it is not treated. Also, on the surface of the tibia is a leathery cartilage structure called the meniscus that may be torn. A torn meniscus can intensify lameness and arthritis. Most cases we see today have a degenerative condition of the ligament and are not related to trauma alone. There are different surgical procedures used to repair the injured knee and not one method is best for all dogs.

ACL Surgery for Dogs

There are three main procedures to repair an ACL rupture in dogs. The simplest and least expensive procedure is called extracapsular stabilization/lateral suture, or figure eight technique. In this procedure, we place a piece of heavy suture on the outside of the joint to mimic the angle of the torn ACL. This suture material will break or become loose in all dogs in some months or years but fibrous (scar) tissue develops that replace the loosening suture. The disadvantages are

  • Recovery and reusing the leg takes longer.
  • The developing fibrosis causes increased thickening of the leg.
  • Your dog may tear the artificial ligament before the fibrosis occurs, and we may need to perform the surgery again.

The latest procedure is called the tightrope technique. This is a modification of the extracapsular method but uses a very strong braided material of gel-spun polyethylene. The material is anchored in the bone on both tibia and femur so is much more secure than the above procedure. Dr. Dozier is experienced in this procedure, and it has, for the most part, replaced extracapsular surgery at Rea Road. Disadvantages are that even though the material is very strong it will probably eventually wear, plus the bone itself may wear where the suture exits.

Alternatively, we can alter the geometry of the knee. Tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) involves sawing the top of the tibia and rotating the top piece until the plateau is level and perpendicular to the patella tendon, changing the weight-bearing surface. A large plate enhances stability. The procedure has good results. It is versatile but also more intricate and invasive than other procedures.

The other geometric technique is tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA). Developed by Kyon Inc. in Switzerland, the attachment of the large patellar tendon moves forward to allow the patellar tendon to exert force, preventing instability caused by the ruptured ACL. The TTA changes the forces to match the tibial slope while the TPLO changes the slope to match the forces. In all the procedures, the joint is opened, remnants of the torn ligament removed, the meniscus is inspected and trimmed if also torn. Dogs recover quicker and the complication rate is lower than the other three procedures. TTA can be performed on very small dogs up to giant breeds. A recent study showed that 98.4% of dogs with ACL rupture were good candidates for TTA.

"We are so pleased and blessed to have Dr. Dozier and your clinic. Time and time again, you all and Dr. Dozier especially have been unfailingly kind, considerate and caring beyond most of any care we have experienced at vets. Having bred goldens for over 50 years we have experienced many vet clinics. Dr. Dozier tops them all. He is unhurried, makes one feel like you are his only client in all the world, takes his time, is thorough and careful and you feel you have his 100% undivided attention. No vet in the hundreds we have worked with has been so available, so kind, willing to take his time, as Dr. Dozier. HE IS THE BEST! Certainly the wonderful staff is a reflection, plus we comment all the time that Dr. Dozier seems to have very little turn over. You all must be happy and respected. Bless you all!" - Ann Chase
"We love Dr. Michael!! She has been so wonderful going down the path with us on our elderly yellow Lab, Bailey Baroo. She has worked with us to find the right blend of food, medicine and exercise to give us more years with him and we appreciate that when she hears hoof beats she thinks horses, not zebras! Everyone at RRAH is wonderful, but Dr. Michael is extra special!" -Lesli An Orio
"Rea Road has been our family vet since the day they opened. I would not trust my pets to anyone else." - Michelle Kingston
"Best vets ever in Charlotte! They have taken such amazing care of my kids and of me, their fretting mom. I wouldn't trust anyone else." - Pamela Shaw
"Rea Road has the most caring staff. Dr. Dozier is truly wonderful! We have taken our babies there for years and they truly love them as much as we do." - Mattie Collins-Walker
"Very simply, we love Rea Road Animal Hospital. Knowledgeable, kind and compassionate!" - Heather Theriault
"Rea Road Animal Hospital has been our vet since we moved to Charlotte 9 years ago. Our dog, Bandit, will be 18 years old in September and we attribute his longevity to the doctors and especially the staff at this establishment. We have recommended the facility to our friends and neighbors and they have used the hospital for vet services, boarding, grooming and a place to love their pets." - Stephen & Heidi Kramer