The TPLO procedure stabilizes the knee by leveling the tibial plateau. In the example of a car parked on a hill, the hill is leveled thus eliminating the need for the brake previously provided by the cruciate ligament.
Radiographs of the knee are taken prior to surgery. Using specific landmarks, the surgeon will measure the tibial plateau angle (slope) and accurately and precisely determine the amount of rotation that is needed to reduce the angle to between 5 and 8 degrees.
During the TPLO procedure, the surgeon will make a curved cut (osteotomy) in the top of the tibia and rotate the segment so that the load-bearing surface of the tibia is between 5 to 8 degrees. A plate is then applied to hold the tibia in this position and allow for the bone to heal.
Recovery time following the TPLO procedure is approximately 2 to 3 months. Following TPLO surgery, patients use the limb and are more comfortable much sooner than following the Extracapsular Stabilization.
Additionally, studies show that there is less arthritic development long term following the TPLO verses the Extracapsular Stabilization (Lazar T, Vet Surg, 2005). For these reasons, the TPLO is considered by most veterinary surgeons to be the “gold standard” for correcting this injury.
The TPLO can be performed on dogs as small as 10 pounds up to 200 pounds or more.
When selecting a surgeon for your pet's procedure, it is important to consider how many of these types of surgeries he or she performs on a regular basis. The surgeons at VOSM have successfully completed thousands of TPLO surgeries and, on average, perform four of these surgeries every day.
To learn more about how the TPLO procedure and how it helped a very special dog, check out "Bucca's" experience on an episode of Your Life with Dr. Anna Marie (see below).
For the rest of Bucca's story, including the discharge and recovery process, see Dr. Anna Marie's YouTube videos.
"I brought [Whiskey] into work, was able to elicit a cranial drawer in her right stifle, and there was very mild effusion on her stifle radiographs. In short, she had ruptured a cranial cruciate ligament. In tears, I called my friend (also her breeder) to let her know what happened, and her first response was, 'You're taking her to the best, right?' Minutes later, I was on the phone with VOSM. ... Fifty hours after her injury, Whiskey was on a surgery table. ... Throughout the post-operative phase and rehabilitation, Dr. Canapp and his team remained interested in Whiskey's progress, and many emails with attached radiographs were sent. Whiskey made her reintroduction to AKC agility in her regular height class at the AKC Agility Invitational in December . ... [She] never used to smile while doing agility. She does now." - Andie Lee