The TPLO surgery has proven itself, time and time again, to be an extremely effective long term solution for addressing cruciate ligament injury in dogs.
The TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) surgery has become one of the most popular orthopedic surgeries performed on dogs that have torn their cranial cruciate ligament, also commonly referred to as the dog acl. The TPLO surgery was first was considered a radical procedure for addressing canine ACL injuries. Now in existence for over 20 years, the surgery has proven itself, time and time again, to be an extremely effective long term solution for addressing cruciate ligament injury in dogs. The philosophy behind the TPLO surgery is to completely change the dynamics of the dog’s knee so that the torn ligament becomes irrelevant to the stability of the knee itself. Let’s quickly review the basics. When your dog stands, if you look from the side, you can see that your dog’s knee is bent, at a slight degree of flexion. Because of this bending, the ACL inside the knee joint is always load-bearing, meaning it always has tension on it. This constant tension on the dogs ACL, therefore makes this ligament the most susceptible to injury. In fact, injury to this ligament is hands-down the most common orthopedic injury in dogs.

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 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. In fact in most cases the dogs are weight bearing with-in a few days after surgery if not the very next day.

Below is an xray of a dog’s knee after TPLO surgery.

If you would like to schedule a TPLO for your dog, or if you would like more information, please email Dr.Laura at laura@bestfriendstalent.com or call (541) 535-8187.