SPCA Florida offers TPLO Surgery
Canine cranial cruciate ligament disease (CCL/ACL tears) are among the most common orthopedic conditions in dogs. And while there are many options for treatment, surgery is recommended for the best chance of good function of the affected leg.
There are several surgical options for this disease. However, many surgeons believe the TPLO is the best choice for large (and active dogs) as the TPLO has shown to give generally good to excellent long term outcomes when compared to other techniques.
This procedure is very common at specialty veterinary hospitals. Dr. Dorian, with his years of advanced surgical training at LSU, has brought the TPLO to SPCA Florida.
Common Questions and Answers
What does TPLO stand for?
Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy. Basically, we use a special circular saw blade to cut the top of the tibia (shin bone), and rotate the bone in a way that neutralizes abnormal forces and allows a dog to walk comfortably without a cranial cruciate ligament.
Why don’t you just replace/repair the ligament like they do in people?
For reasons we do not fully understand, that procedure doesn’t work well in dogs. It may become an option in the future (there are some very smart people working on that solution), but right now it’s not something that is offered.
What about a knee brace?
A dog’s stifle joint (the knee) is quite different from a person's, and unfortunately many braces don’t work well to fully stop abnormal movement when the CCL is torn.
Can my dog have the lateral suture or TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement) instead?
Dr. Dorian doesn’t perform TTA surgery; however, there are many qualified veterinarians who do. Lateral Suture is done at SPCA Florida. However, the outcomes are generally nowhere near as good as a TPLO, and most dogs would benefit from a TPLO over a lateral suture. Dr Dorian will discuss the pros and cons of each procedure at your appointment.
What about the other leg?
Unfortunately, about 50% of dogs will tear the cruciate ligament in the opposite limb within two years.
Are there possible complications?
Any surgical procedure can have complications, so the answer is "yes." Most dogs do very well after this procedure, and Dr. Dorian will discuss possible complications for your dog at your appointment.
What’s the recovery time?
Most dogs take about 8 weeks for recovery, but full recovery from orthopedic procedures can take several months. Ideally, some physical therapy will be done at home, and this will be discussed with you at time of discharge. Physical therapy by a licensed Veterinary Physical Therapist is an excellent adjunct to this surgery, if desired.
Your dog will not be allowed to run, jump, play, etc for eight weeks post op. This is to protect the repair and to help avoid major complications. After this period most dogs go onto have very active lifestyles.
Don't hesitate to call us at 863-646-7722 for more information.