TPLO Surgery in Dogs

If your dog is suffering from a torn CCL, our White Settlement vets may recommend TPLO surgery to repair the injury and help return your dog to an active lifestyle. 

Why is my vet recommending TPLO surgery for my dog?

For dogs with a torn cranial cruciate ligament, TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) surgery is frequently recommended (CCL).

What is the CCL?

The cranial cruciate ligament connects your dog's tibia (the bone below the knee) to their femur (the bone above the knee) (the bone above their knee). It's similar to the ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, in humans.

Because a dog's hind legs are always bent, unlike humans, the CCL is always a load-bearing ligament. When the CCL is torn, your dog's knee becomes unstable and painful.

Symptoms of a CCL Injury

CCL injury symptoms in dogs can appear suddenly, but they usually develop over time. The following are the most common symptoms of a CCL injury:

  • Stiffness (most noticeable after rest, following exercise).
  • Difficulty rising and jumping.
  • Hind leg lameness and limping.

Continued activity on a mildly injured CCL will aggravate the injury and exacerbate the symptoms.

Approximately 60% of dogs who have a CCL injury in one leg will injure the other shortly after.

TPLO - Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy Surgery

TPLO surgery, rather than replacing the CCL with an artificial ligament through an Extracapsular Repair, reconfigures the knee to eliminate the need for the CCL ligament entirely.

TPLO surgery entails making a curved cut from the front to the back of the tibia, then rotating the tibial plateau (top section of the tibia) backward until the tibia and femur angles are level. The two sections of the tibia are then stabilized in the desired positions with a metal plate while the bone heals in its new configuration.

Recovery from TPLO Surgery

Many dogs will be walking on the leg within 24 hours of surgery, and the majority will be bearing moderate amounts of weight on the leg within two weeks.

However, it is critical to severely restrict your dog's activity for at least four months after TPLO surgery. It's critical to follow your vet's instructions to avoid further injury to your dog's leg while they recover from surgery. For example, if your dog jumped after TPLO surgery, it may be risking re-tearing the CCL.

Approximately 6 months after surgery, your dog should be able to resume full physical activity, including running and jumping.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

To find out more about TPLO surgery to repair your dog's CCL, contact our White Settlement vets today.