TPLO orthopedic surgery for dogs

At Carolina Animal Specialty & Emergency, we're proud to be a recognized leader in performing effective tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) surgery for patients. Most commonly conducted on dogs, this procedure helps repair cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) tears in and around the knee joint.


Details about TPLO surgeries

Many pet owners are surprised to find out that a dog knee is similar to a human knee. Similar to when a human tears an ACL, pets can tear the animal-equivalent ligament (CCL) in an injury, with excessive weight gain, or in old age. If you ever see your dog limping after playtime in the park, it could indicate a CCL tear.

In a CCL tear, the dog or cat's knee joint becomes unstable, and it's no longer able to bear the normal weight of day-to-day walking. TPLO surgery helps to repair any CCL tears to promote quick healing. It's a highly specialized surgery that, with the right veterinary team, can have a very high success rate.

Is your pet limping? Contact our hospital for more information about TPLO surgery and how we can help your pet have a quick and safe recovery.

Signs of CCL tears

Rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) is one of the most common reasons for hind limb lameness, pain, and resulting in arthritis of the knee. Due to the occurrence of this problem in dogs being much more complex than in humans they experience different degrees of rupture, partial or complete.

Most commonly, cruciate tears are caused by a combination of many issues, including deterioration of the ligament, genetics, skeletal shape, and breed. When cruciate ligament rupture is the outcome of slow degeneration it has been taking place over a few months or even years rather than the result of sudden trauma to an otherwise healthy ligament (which is very rare).

Common signs and symptoms that your pet may have a cruciate injury:

  • difficulty getting up and down
  • trouble jumping into the car
  • decreased activity level
  • lameness
  • decreased muscle mass in the affected leg
  • a popping noise in the effected knee
  • pain
  • unwillingness to play
  • stiffness

Poor physical body condition and excessive body weight are also risk factors for the development of cruciate tears. Both of these factors can be influenced by pet owners. Regular exercise and close monitoring of food intake to maintain a lean body mass is desirable. Weight loss is crucial to any pet that is obese and diagnosed with cruciate ligament tears. Our rehab department can help you establish a weight loss program for your pet. 40-60% of dogs that have ligament damage in one knee will eventually develop a similar problem in the other knee. Maintaining a healthy body weight could prevent issues with the other knee.

TPLO Treatment for Pets

Surgical repair is generally the best treatment for ligament tears since it is the only way to permanently limit the instability found in the knee joint. Surgery addresses one of the main issues of knee instability and the pain it causes because of the loss of normal cruciate ligament structural support.

The goal of surgery is not to “repair” the cruciate ligament itself. Due to genetic and mechanical influences, it has no ability to heal once tearing begins despite of the degree of severity. If present along with a meniscal injury it will be addressed by your surgeon when performing surgery to stabilize the knee. There are many surgical treatment options are available to deal with knee instability. The different options will be discussed at the time of your consultation.

Postoperative care at home is crucial. Early, unrestricted, or excessive activity can cause total or partial failure of any surgical repair. Surgical failure may require extensive surgery to address. Proper postoperative care will be explained to you in detail by our surgery department before and after surgery.

Call us at (828) 328-6697 for more information on TPLO orthopedic surgery, or send us a message through our TPLO Information Form, and a member of our veterinary staff will get back to you

Choose Carolina Animal Specialty & Emergency for your pet's TPLO surgery or schedule a consultation to learn more. We look forward to helping your pet recover!


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