Understand TPLO Surgery for Dogs, Treatment & Recovery
We are here to help pet owners better understand the benefits of the TPLO surgery. Learn why we recommend the TPLO to fix your dog’s torn ACL. Learn about the 6 StepsTM
The TPLO 6 StepsTM
Watch How The TPLO Surgery Works
Explore the various benefits of a TPLO surgery and know how the procedure works. Watch our animation demo here.
All About TPLO Surgery for Dogs
Has your dog been experiencing lameness in one of its hind legs? It may have torn its cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), an essential part of a dog’s knee. It connects the tibia (shin bone) to the femur (thigh bone), keeping the bones in appropriate alignment.
This ligament can tear when your dog runs, jumps, or bumps into obstacles, but genetics also play a major role in predisposing the ligament to injury. A luxating kneecap may also predispose to a ruptured CCL. When torn, the ligament can’t repair or heal itself, potentially damaging other structures in the joint and leading to arthritis.
The Symptoms of a Torn CCL
If your canine ruptures its CCL, it may experience the following symptoms:
- Lameness or limping
- Using one leg instead of the other
- Stiffness in the affected leg after exercise
- A swollen knee
- Difficulty lying down or getting up
- Pain or tenderness near the injured knee
These symptoms often develop gradually and worsen over time.
How Veterinarians Diagnose CCL Injuries
Diagnosing a CCL injury requires a physical exam and radiographs. Your doctor will also discuss your pet’s medical history with you. Anesthesia may be used to help assess joint stability. The results of these tests help your vet determine the severity of the injury.
Do Canines Need TPLO Surgery?
CCL injuries range from partial to full tears and may require surgery. TPLO surgery (tibial plateau leveling osteotomy) is a standard procedure performed on canines with a ruptured CCL. Your dog may undergo this surgery to restore knee mobility upon your vet’s recommendation.
What to Expect from TPLO Surgery for Dogs
TPLO surgery involves changing the angle of the tibial plateau and stabilizing the bone in its new position. Recovery time for the surgery is approximately 12 weeks. The first 8 weeks are restricted to on-leash activity, while weeks 9-12 begin ramping up off leash activity. After the surgery, your vet will recommend your canine rest and restrict exercise to ensure proper bone and soft-tissue healing.
Reminders After Dog Knee Surgery
Limit your pet’s movements.
Ensure your canine doesn’t move too much for the first few months of recovery.
Prevent licks or chews to the incision. Your vet may have your pet wear an E-collar or cone for two weeks post-surgery.
Use ice packs.
Doing this will bring down inflammation after your dog’s TPLO surgery.
Perform rehabilitative exercises.
Your vet will recommend specific exercises to help restore the affected leg’s range of motion.
Want to speak to a TPLO Surgeon?
Get in touch with one today!