Tibial plateau leveling osteotomy is a specialized type of surgery for dogs that sustain a knee injury. Companion Animal Hospital in Maize is KYON certified to perform this type of specialty operation. This procedure helps to restore the quality of life for medium- to large-sized dogs that suffer a specific type of knee injury.
Why Dogs Need TPLO Surgery
TPLO surgery is used to repair a cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injury in a dog. This ligament is similar to the ACL in a human knee. The ligament wears out over time and minor trauma can then cause it to rupture.
A CCL injury causes active dogs a significant amount of pain and hind leg lameness. If the injury is left untreated, it can cause osteoarthritis in the knee joint, due to bones grinding together incorrectly. The sooner you have this repaired on your dog, the less likely he will be to suffer irreversible joint damage.
While there are several different techniques for repairing a CCL injury, TPLO surgery is considered one of the best options. However, your veterinarian at Companion Animal Hospital will discuss all of the options with you, so you can make the right choice for your pet.
How TPLO Surgery Is Performed
Dogs are sedated for TPLO surgery and an incision is made to access the affected knee joint. In a CCL injury, the femur slides forward improperly over the tibia, causing pain and discomfort. The goal of this surgery is to “level” the tibia properly.
To achieve this, the vet cuts a small section of the tibia bone. That section is then rotated so that it is “leveled” correctly with the femur. A small orthopedic implant is then attached to the segments of the tibia to stabilize it.
Most dogs are able to walk again within one to two days after TPLO surgery. For the first two weeks after surgery, the dog’s activity level should be restricted to very short walks for “potty” breaks. Most dogs can resume normal activities and play at about four months post-operatively, although it can take up to six months to fully heal.
TPLO surgery is one of the biggest advances in medical science for canine CCL injuries in many years. An estimated 90 to 95 percent of all dogs experience a full recovery after receiving this specialized operation.