Tibial plateau leveling osteotomy

Tibial plateau leveling osteotomy

TPLO, or tibial plateau leveling osteotomy, is a surgery performed on dogs to stabilize the stifle joint after ruptures of the cranial cruciate ligament (analogous to the anterior cruciate ligament [ACL] in humans, and sometimes colloquially called the same). Normally, the CCL prevents backward-forward movement of the joint. When it tears, the joint becomes unstable and the dog suffers lack of mobility (lameness) acutely and is subject to chronic progressive arthritis in the stifle if untreated.

In a TPLO procedure, the tibial plateau, the portion of the tibia adjoining the stifle, is cut and rotated so that its slope changes to approximately 5 degrees from the horizontal plane . This prevents the femur from sliding down the slope of the plateau. Thus surgery generally results in faster recovery times compared to other procedures to stabilize the knee. Most dogs (over 90%) are expected to regain a very active and athletic lifestyle with no post-operative complications and without the need for any pain relieving medication.


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