Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy
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What is TPLO?
Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) is a surgical procedure commonly performed to treat cranial or anterior cruciate ligament tears in the knee joints of dogs. Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) tears are a common cause of lameness in a dogs' knee joint. When the CCL is torn, the upper part of the tibia slides forward with respect to the thigh bone, this causes an instability of the knee, therefore, preventing the dog from walking normally and causing pain. Additionally, the instability at the knee can cause damage to the cartilage encapsulating the joint, and lead to arthritis at the knee.
What symptoms would my pet exhibit if they tore their CCL?
- Lameness of the knee
- Swelling at the knee
- Stiffness of knee
- Muscle atrophy (decreased muscle mass) at the knee
- Difficulty jumping, running, and walking
TPLO Surgical Treatment
TPLO treats the knee by cutting a portion of the upper tibia bone and rotating it until the tibia and femur are leveled using a bone plate and screws to lock the plate in place, thus stabilizing the knee.
Once the operation is completed, the dog must rehabilitate the knee for several months. The timetable for rehabilitation varies with respect to the dogs' breed, larger dogs will require a longer period of rehabilitation than smaller dogs. Prescribed medication is recommended post-operation. Activities such as running, or jumping must be restricted to ensure complete rehabilitation of the knee joint. The surgical cut must be kept clean and the dog should not lick or alter the wound.