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TPLO - tibial plateau levelling osteotomy

What is a TPLO :

A TPLO (tibial plateau levelling osteotomy) is a surgical technique used to treat cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) rupture in dogs. Dogs with a torn or injured CCL can’t walk normally and experience pain. The TPLO changes the angle of the top of the tibia (tibial plateau) by cutting bone, rotating it and stabilising it in a new position with a plate and screws.

How is a TPLO performed?

X-rays are taken before surgery and measurements are taken to determine the rotation needed to stabilise the knee joint. During surgery the knee joint is examined to remove damaged or torn ligament pieces and assess for possible meniscus tears. A curved saw blade is used to cut the tibia. The cut portion is then rotated to reach the desired tibial plateau angle. A stainless steel bone plate is then used to align and hold in place the two pieces of bone.

Does my dog really need the surgery?

For most dogs, surgery is the only way to return the leg to good function. Only 15% of dogs will recover to a moderate amount of function of the leg without surgery and most of these dogs will be small breed dogs, under 6-10 kg.

Why is a TPLO expensive

A TPLO requires specialised equipment including a motorised saw with a specifically designed blade, stainless steel plate and 6-9 bone screws, many x-rays and a significant amount of training on the part of the surgeon. The process takes about 2-4 hours of preparation, surgery and recovery time for each patient

What are the possible complications?

Minor complications include infection and inflammation of the patella tendon. Major complications include failure of the plate or screws and fracture of the tibia or fibula, but these are rare and uncommon

What aftercare is required

Dogs need to be confined post surgery with only limited and controlled exercise and movement for the first few weeks. Gradually movement and exercise can be increased until normal use of legs around 6-8 weeks post surgery. Follow-up vet visits and x-rays will be needed to to gauge the healing process.

If you have a dog with a suspected CCL rupture - make sure to discuss this procedure with your vet.

One of our friendly vets is always available to help and guide you where needed.

011 795 2034

 2 Knoppiesdoring St, Randpark Ridge, Randburg, 2169

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