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 is the most effective as it restores the stifle joints closer to normal functioning. This method is different from fixing human knee fracture 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 TPLO Involves? 

It is a highly technical method of repairing ruptured ligaments. Angle and relationship between tibia and femur are changed in this surgical 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 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. By adjusting the angle or slope of the top of the tibia, mechanical stress on the knee is reduced.

Risks & Complications of TPLO

As any kind of surgery is not a simple procedure, there are always some risks and complications. TPLO is a critical operation, but the risk rate is still very low. Infection (with 6% chances) and implant loosening are common complications of this procedure. Moreover, swelling and bruising to fracture and osteomyelitis are the post-operative risks. Overall, estimated complications are 14-34%. And second surgery is required only in 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.

Success Rate of TPLO

TPLO is the most successful method of repairing ruptured ligaments in dogs. In the last 30 years, many surgical techniques have been practiced to repair a dog’s fractured tibia, among which TPLO has proven the most effective method. The success rate of this surgical method is 90%. Lameness results are also excellent. After 8-16 weeks of the surgery, the dog can walk and jump softly. One can assume the success rate of TPLO from the fact the high breed and athletic dogs follow this surgical method when injured.

Care For Your Dog After 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 in the healing process. 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 the healing process. Cold therapy (ice packs) and massage can also help in reducing the pain after surgery. 


TPLO 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 normal life. As the ligament has been removed, repetitive motion injuries and micro-injuries can still occur after TPLO. However, following proper medication prescribed by the veterinarian and ensuring post-operative care, the healing process can be more speedy.