TPLO is one of the most common procedures for repairing cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) tears in dogs. In most cases, TPLO surgery is superior to other orthopedic surgeries. It's particularly effective in large breeds and those with advanced joint degeneration and CCL ruptures. Today, our Laguna Woods vet provides some details about the TPLO surgery process.
An Overview of CCL Injuries in Dogs
You may have heard of an ACL tear in humans. Similarly, the CCL ligaments in dogs are in charge of assisting the knee in functioning as a hinge joint and preventing rotation between the femur and tibia.
To treat a CCL rupture, veterinarians recommend the Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO), Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA), or Lateral Fabellotibial Suture (LFS) surgery. Because of the success rate of the TPLO procedure, it is the most popular type of repair.
An Overview of TPLO Surgery
The most common procedure for dogs with cruciate ligament tears is TPLO. The TPLO procedure aids in stifle stabilization and reduces the likelihood of further osteoarthritis progression. This procedure is usually performed by an experienced veterinarian.
Before TPLO Surgery
The surgical team plans the TPLO procedure with the help of carefully placed digital x-rays. The surgeon looks at the damaged parts of the knee and cuts away the damaged ligament(s). To do this, they either open the joint to look inside or make a small cut to look more closely.
During TPLO Surgery
The surgeon cuts the tibial plateau, the load-bearing part of the knee, and moves it at a 5-degree angle. The dog's stifle (knee joint) will then be stable when it has to bear weight. The surgeon does the TPLO by cutting, rotating, and then repositioning the tibia. The bone grafts are held in place with a special bone plate and screws.
The surgeon will also check the meniscus. A torn meniscus can constantly irritate the joint. If the meniscus is not damaged, the surgeon does a "meniscal release." This helps keep the meniscus from being damaged in the future.
After TPLO Surgery
X-rays will once again be ordered to determine the new angle of the shin. For most dogs, this surgery requires an overnight stay in the hospital. During the procedure, your pet will be under general anesthesia, and the hospital will provide painkillers and antibiotics afterward, A bandage is applied over the incision site for protection.
Your Dog's Orthopedic Health
Lifestyle changes can help your dog's recovery and ongoing health. These include:
- Keeping your dog at a healthy weight
- Supervising your dog to help minimize accidents and injuries
- Exercising your dog every day through walks and other age-appropriate activities
- Following up on all postoperative care recommendations and yearly examinations
- Asking your veterinarian about supplements and medications that may aid in reducing inflammation and pain and supporting mobility
- Encouraging low-impact forms of exercise, such as walking and swimming
In the end, we just want our furry friends to be happy and healthy, with a full range of motion and no discomfort. To achieve this goal, TPLO surgery may be the best option.