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TPLO Surgery 6 Step Overview.

The 6-StepsTM were created to give dog owners reliable and accurate information about their dogs ACL injury and how to treat it. By going through the 6-StepsTM you will learn about the anatomy of the dog knee, what the ACL is and why it sometimes tears in dogs, how to diagnose an ACL tear, what the treatment options are, what TPLO is, and the recovery process.

TPLO Surgery: An Overview

The Causes & Symptoms of a CCL Injury

CCL injuries can arise from a degenerative condition or a sudden traumatic rupture. Genetics, obesity, and the anatomy of your pet’s knees are all factors that could lead to a torn CCL.

When your canine ruptures the CCL, its hind legs can become lame, followed by periodic stiffness. Lameness also occurs from other meniscus injuries.

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Diagnosing a Torn CCL

Your veterinarian will conduct multiple tests to determine whether or not your canine has a torn CCL. The “cranial drawer test” is one test your vet can perform. In this test, the doctor will move the tibia to see if it slides forward simulating tibial thrust. Your vet can also take an x-ray of the affected knee to identify changes on the joint that are related to a CCL injury.

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Treatment Options

Dogs with CCL injuries can undergo either surgical or non-surgical treatments.

Non-Surgical Treatment


Weight management for overweight canines


Changes to the pet's usual exercise


Joint Supplements


Additional therapies


Pain Management

Surgical Treatment

Your veterinarian can also recommend surgery for a CCL injury. When deciding whether your pet should get surgery, you have several factors to consider. These factors include the size of your canine, the severity of the injury, and other medical conditions that it may have. With these things in mind, your knee surgeon can then decide if your dog will need an extracapsular surgery or an osteotomy.

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Extracapsular Techniques

In an extracapsular procedure, the surgeon will place sutures on vital parts of the affected area of the knee for added stability. The lateral extracapsular suture, Tightrope, and SwiveLock surgeries use this technique when fixing a torn CCL.



This surgery involves cutting and reshaping the bone to stabilize the affected knee joint. TPLO surgery for dogs focuses on the tibia. Osteotomy techniques reduce the tibial plateau slope and keep it from sliding forward. If you’re pursuing osteotomy for your pet, the following options are available:

  • TPLO
  • Center of rotation of angulation (CORA)-based
  • leveling osteotomy (CBLO)
  • Triple tibial osteotomy (TTO)
  • Closing wedge osteotomy
  • Tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA)
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Why Choose TPLO for Your Pet?

Dogs that undergo TPLO can already use the affected limb within several days after the procedure. Smaller dog breeds also tend to heal and return to their normal selves faster after surgery. Medium and large canines also benefit from TPLO procedures.

Moreover, TPLO has a 90 to 95% success rate, giving your dog a high chance of returning to its lively self after the procedure and allowing it to run, jump, and play like it usually did.

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Want to speak to a TPLO Surgeon?

Get in touch with one today!

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