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

The 6 StepsTM were created to give dog owners accurate information about their dogs ACL injury and how to treat it. Learn about the dog knee, the ACL, diagnosing a tear, treatment options, the TPLO, and recovery.
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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.

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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.

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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!

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