What you should know about TPLO
Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy has been proven effective in returning dogs to full function.
Does the dog bear full weight on the leg or does the dog limp?
Does the dog go into a full sit or sit crooked?
Does the knee of the affected leg the same size or small than the other?
Is there swelling to the inside of the knee?
Was the dog sore in the past and then improve with rest or did the dog become sore and stay sore?
When it comes to choosing the right knee injury or knee ligament tear surgery for dogs, many pet owners often times get confused. Currently, one of the most common surgery performed for canine ACL (CCL) injury dog is the TPLO or Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy.
When a dog tears its ACL, every time the dogs goes to stand or put weight on the leg, the femur slides/rubs on the back of the tibia. This rubbing causes pain and inflammation, which is very uncomfortable. This is why most dogs with a torn ACL will not even put any weight on the leg, or if they do, they will just toe touch the leg to the ground.
The true beauty of the surgery is that it completely alters the dynamics of the knee. Once the bone is cut and rotated the tibial plateau, where the femur and the tibia communicate, no longer can slide backwards. The knee is immediately stabilized. By doing so, this eliminates the need for the ACL ligament entirely and returns stability to the joint immediately. Once the knee is stabilized, the dogs will begin to use the limb again. As a result of the surgery correcting this issue immediately, this is the reason why dogs that undergo the procedure begin to use their leg so quickly after treatment.
Remember first that the main problem when a dog tears its ACL ligament is that when the dog goes to put their weight on the leg, the femur slides off the back side of the tibia, an area called the tibial plateau slope. The main philosophy behind the TPLO is to change the angle of this tibial plateau slope. By rotating the top part of the tibia, the once problematic tibial slope is now rotated so that it is flat; therefore the sliding action can no longer occur when the dog bears weight.