TPLO Surgeries for Dogs
Torn cruciate ligaments can cause pain for a dog from knee instability and 'tibial thrust.'
Tibial thrust occurs when weight is transferred up a dog's shin bone (tibia) and across the knee, causing the shinbone to jump forward in relation to the thigh bone. This thrust movement is what causes the dog pain.
If your dog has torn his cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), you may want to consider TPLO surgery. This common orthopedic procedure is an effective long-term solution. It is quite popular due to its positive results and quick recovery time.
How long does recovery for TPLO surgery take?
Recovery from TPLO surgery is generally quick:
- About half of patients start walking 24 hours after surgery.
- Most dogs can bear weight on the affected leg 2 weeks after surgery.
- Most dogs don't have a limp or gait abnormality by 10 weeks.
- At 4 months post-op, most dogs can walk and play normally, with only the most stressful activities restricted.
- Most dogs can resume normal activity within 6 months.
TPLO Surgery FAQs
See our most frequently asked questions below to get more information about TPLO surgery in dogs.
- Is a CCL injury time sensitive?
Yes and no. A CCL injury does not merit an emergency surgical procedure. The longer a dog goes with an unstable knee, however, the risk of a meniscal injury increases. Thus, the sooner surgery is performed, the faster your dog can become comfortable and return to normal activity.
- Will TPLO surgery negatively affect the opposite leg?
Short answer, no. The TPLO procedure will, in most cases, relatively quickly allow dogs to begin using the "bad leg" and help with weight distribution.
- Will my dog need x-rays before surgery? Yes. The tibial plateau angle must be measured on x-rays before surgery. This determines how much the tibial top must be rotated. This x-ray is best done on a sedated patient for precise positioning.
- Will my dog need bloodwork before surgery?
Most likely, yes. We need to know a patient's health before anesthesia. Bloodwork helps your vet evaluate organ functions to make sure your dog is healthy enough for anesthesia.
- Will my dog be in pain after surgery?
TPLO is invasive. But combining opioids like morphine with other medications can prevent and treat post-operative pain. Most surgeons use epidurals and local anesthetics to comfort pets.