Post Op & Injury

Post-Operative Uses
Common surgeries for which rehabilitation may be helpful include TPLO, post-disc, cruciate ligament repairs, total hip replacements, fracture repairs, back and neck surgeries, femoral head and neck ostectomies (FHO's), patella luxations, elbow surgery/arthroscopy, and other orthopedic-related surgery.

Post-Injury Uses 

There is potential in all dogs and especially those that are very active or susceptible based on breed for injuries that include but are not limited to knees, shoulders, hips, backs, and necks. Dogs who have suffered injury affecting the muscles, bones, ligaments, or tendons may benefit from rehabilitation.

We will contact your family veterinarian and/or surgeon for referral information on the injury/condition.

Monty's Case Summary:

Monty is a 5-year-old neutered male Goldendoodle who received 3 months of physical rehabilitation therapy with CRCG after a TPLO surgery to stabilize his right stifle (knee) after he tore his cranial cruciate ligament or CCL (the canine equivalent of a human's ACL).  His owners were dedicated to his recovery, limiting his activity carefully, following our recommendations for walks and home exercises, and bringing him in every week for rehab visits.  His rehab therapy at CRCG consisted of laser therapy to decrease pain and inflammation, massage to tight muscles, and strengthening exercises to increase muscle mass in his hind limbs.  We also used the underwater treadmill to allow him to walk with the buoyancy of the water decreasing the stress on his joints and the resistance of the water providing extra work for his muscles.  With the help of his rehab therapy and hard work by his owners, he recovered smoothly and quickly.  Unfortunately, shortly after finishing rehab for his right stifle, he tore the CCL in his left stifle and had a TPLO surgery on that limb.  Because of the positive results with rehabilitation after his first surgery, his owners returned to us for another course of rehab after his second surgery.  He has minimal muscle atrophy (muscle loss) after his second surgery because of all the strengthening work we did after his first surgery so he's doing extremely well and making even faster progress the second time around. 

 Lola Case Study (Post-op)

Lola is a 4-year-old FS golden retriever service dog that was diagnosed with bilateral medial coronoid disease at a year old (right worse than left). Bilateral subtotal coronoidectomies have been performed on each elbow twice; the most recent occurred in early November 2014. Lola responded well to rehab after the first surgery, so her owners are pursuing it again this time. She had eight full weeks of rest before rehab was begun in December 2014. Her service duties were suspended during her recovery time. Initially, Lola had a normal gait in her LF, but a grade 3/5 lameness in her RF. Her right elbow only flexed to 72°, and her left elbow to 55° (normal 20-40°). Both had normal extension. Her muscle mass was moderately decreased bilaterally in her triceps, biceps, supra- and infraspinatus, rhomboid, and latissimus muscles. We focused on pain management and increasing range of motion for therapy, as well as strengthening her forelimb muscles. Cold laser, joint traction, therapeutic ultrasound, and the underwater treadmill were used at weekly rehab appointments, and she performed simple exercises at home. After a brief setback when she slipped on ice and exacerbated her elbow pain (especially on her left fore), she is gradually becoming more comfortable on her forelimbs. She has gained 20° of flexion in her right forelimb with consistent passive range of motion that the owners are doing at home, and she is on a good path to recovery with a gentle rehab plan. 


Clinical Applications
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
Electrical Stimulation

Refer to our Services and Costs section for more information about pricing and clinic staff and therapies.

Questions? Call us at 303-762-SWIM (7946), contact us, or post a question to our "Ask the CRCG Experts" section.

Do you think rehab doesn't help?  Think again.... 


Pain and/or reactivity - How can rehabilitation help? Here's how we helped Meca..... 

Meca Case Study - Pain and Reactivity 

Meca is an 8-year-old spayed female labrador retriever mix who was presented to us for physical rehabilitation after a perceived episode of pain at home.  During this episode, she was hunched in her back, walking stiffly, didn’t want to use the stairs, and snapped at her owner when she tried to help Meca on the stairs.  An exam by one of our therapists revealed back pain as well as muscles in her hind limbs that were significantly tight and painful.  She was started on pain medications by her regular veterinarian and for additional pain management, we began therapeutic laser therapy to spine.  Therapeutic laser decreases pain by decreasing inflammation and increasing blood flow.  We also worked on stretching and massage for her tight hind limb muscles and after a couple weeks, she was much more comfortable and acting like herself again.  Since then, we’ve been working on strengthening and conditioning to help prevent future pain or injury.  Meca walks in the underwater treadmill here and does exercises both at home and in the rehab facility to strengthen her hind limbs as well as her core (abdominal and back muscles).  She also continues to get regular massage and stretching to keep her muscles relaxed. 

Meca exibited reactivity to other dogs and started working with Carrie Bowlus (CRCG Behavioral Consultant) in the CRCG playground.  On her first visit, she was introduced to the clicker — the goal was to be able to “catch” moments of focus and calm.  She also started simple foot placement exercises.  During her second visit, we introduced Meca to the Total Dog equipment (the equipment you see in the CRCG Broomfield playground).  Both the first and second visits were scheduled during reserved time, so there were no other dogs passing by.  On the third visit with Meca, we built on previous skills and also used the distraction of other dogs passing by the playground area to work on her discomfort with other dogs. Reducing Meca’s pain through rehab has allowed her to focus on training and improving her interactions with other dogs.