How Is TPLO An Effective Method For Treating Dogs’ Knees Injuries?

How Is TPLO An Effective Method For Treating Dogs’ Knees Injuries

Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) is a surgical method to treat dogs facing Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) ruptures, which is similar to Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in humans. Ligament rupture can occur due to trauma or some strenuous activity. Severe pain and limping affect the overall health of the dog. Athletic dogs are more prone to CCL. 

Mostly, Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy is followed for high-breed dogs. Among many other methods of fixing CCL, TPLO surgery is the most effective as it restores the stifle joints closer to normal functioning. 

This method is different from fixing human knee fractures as in TPLO, the angle of the tibia is shifted, and there is no need for the ligament. Still, in humans, the restoration of the ligament is necessary. 

What Does TPLO Involve? 

It is a highly technical method of repairing ruptured ligaments. The angle and relationship between the tibia and femur are changed in this surgical TPLO procedure. The major focus is to reduce the tibia that makes forward shifts during a stride. 

On the top of the tibia, a semi-circular cut is made by rotating the tibia. Then, in its place, a bone plate is used that helps in healing the tibia. This realignment provides stability and prevents joints from future inflammation. Adjusting the angle or slope of the top of the tibia reduces mechanical stress on the knee.

The Benefits Of TPLO Surgery

Now, we're talking turkey. What's so great about TPLO, you ask? Well, I'm glad you did.

Better Stability

First off, TPLO provides improved stability. Imagine trying to walk on a broken shoe heel. Not so fun, right? That's what it's like for dogs with knee injuries. But after TPLO, it's more like walking in a sturdy hiking boot.

Faster Recovery

TPLO also tends to lead to faster recovery times compared to other methods. It's like giving your pup a fast pass to return to their old self. And who wouldn't want that?

Reduced Pain

What's more, the TPLO procedure often results in less post-operative pain. It's like taking the thorn out of the paw, so to speak.

Increased Mobility

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, TPLO typically results in a better range of motion for our four-legged friends. It's like swapping a rusty old bike for a shiny new one with all the bells and whistles.

Success Rate Of TPLO Surgery Dog

TPLO is the most successful method of repairing ruptured ligaments in dogs. In the last 30 years, many surgical techniques have been practiced to improve a dog’s fractured tibia, among which TPLO has proven the most effective method. The success rate of this surgical method is 93%. Lameness results are also excellent. 

The dog can walk and jump softly after 8-16 weeks of the surgery. One can assume the success rate of TPLO from the fact that the high-breed and athletic dogs follow this surgical method when injured.

TPLO Complications & Risks 

As any surgery is not a simple procedure, there are always some risks and complications. TPLO surgery dog is a critical operation, but the risk rate remains very low. Infection (with a 7% chance) and implant loosening are common TPLO complications.

Moreover, swelling and bruising to fracture and osteomyelitis are the post-operative risks. The estimated complications are 14-34%, but they can be higher or lower depending on the dog's circumstances. And second surgery is required only in less than 10% of cases. 

To avoid post-surgery risk and complications, veterinary surgeons suggest physical therapy. Regular X-rays are also followed to check the healing progress of the ligament.

TPLO Failure Symptoms

While TPLO is a very effective procedure, it can sometimes fail. TPLO failure symptoms are, 

  • Recurrent lameness
  • Increased pain
  • Swelling or redness
  • Discharge
  • Fracture

Tplo Surgery Recovery

TPLO surgery recovery in dogs typically takes 8-16 weeks. During this time, the dog will need to be confined to a small area and will need to wear a brace or splint. The dog will also need to be on pain medication and antibiotics.

Care For Your Dog After TPLO Surgery

Pets mostly get depressed after surgery. This can be because of pain or discomfort. Playing and talking to your dog after TPLO will help it heal. So, try to keep your dog on a short leash. Carry it up and down the stairs. Cuddling also helps the dog to remain normal and happy. Do not let it jump right after the surgery. If you observe your dog is in pain or feeling uncomfortable, visit your veterinary doctor so that he can provide some medicines to get relief and speed up the healing process. Cold therapy (ice packs) and massage can also help reduce pain after surgery. 

TPLO Surgery Cost 

The TPLO surgery cost in dogs can vary depending on a number of factors, including the dog's size, the location of the veterinary clinic, and the surgeon's experience. However, TPLO surgery dog can generally cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000.


TPLO surgery is undoubtedly a more effective method than any other surgical procedure for the dogs’ knees. The healing process is faster after the surgery. Within six months, the dog is back to everyday life. As the ligament has been removed, repetitive motion injuries and micro-injuries can still occur after TPLO. However, by following the proper medication prescribed by the veterinarian and ensuring post-operative care, the healing process can be speedier.