There are many technical variations of the Extracapsular Stabilization, but all are the same in that the stifle joint is stabilized with placement of a non-absorbable suture material, typically a monofilament nylon such as fishing leader line, around the lateral fabella and through a hole in the tibial crest mimicking the pattern of the CCL.
Although often referred to as an “artificial ligament," the suture provides only temporary stabilization and will loosen over time. This technique relies on scar tissue to ultimately stabilize the joint.
Recovery time following the Extracapsular Stabilization is approximately 3 to 5 months.
While this technique can be successful, it is more likely to fail in large breed dogs as the prosthetic ligament can stretch or rupture.
Another common complication is over-tightening of the prosthetic ligament with applies excessive compression of the joint. This can lead to cartilage damage, increased risk of meniscal injury, limited range of motion of the joint, and discomfort.