Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)


Function of the Cranial Cruciate Ligament

The cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), the equivalent to our anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), is essential to the stability of the stifle (knee) joint.  The instability that follows a CCL tear causes inflammation and pain.  If the instability is allowed to continue, the result will be cartilage degeneration, medial meniscal tear and osteoarthritis.

Risk factors for rupture of the CCL

Several factors contribute to the rupture of the CCL:

  • Exaggerated Tibial plateau angle (slope)
  • Breed dispositions
  • Overweight conditions
  • Decreased physical fitness

Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy

TPLO is the most widely used and arguably the most effective procedure available to restore function to patients with ruptured CCL.  TPLO consists of leveling the articular service of the tibia with which the femur articulates, restoring dynamic stability to the stifle joint that is without a functional cranial cruciate ligament.  A specially designed plate is applied to the medial surface of the tibia to provide support to the bone during healing.

Post-Operative Care

  • The surgical incision needs to be evaluated daily; Report excessive swelling, redness, or drainage. Contact us regarding any concerns.
  • Administer medication as prescribed
  • Ice the surgical site and start gentle, passive range of motion (PROM)
  • Sutures need to be removed 10-14 days after surgery

Activity Restrictions

Weeks 1 through 6: No stair climbing, getting on the furniture or off-leash activities

Weeks 1 and 2: Outdoor sessions only for elimination purposes.  Use sling support as needed.

Week 3: Start slow leash walks 5-10 minutes twice a day.  Recommend enrolling in a supervised physical therapy program

Week 4 through 6: Increase length of time of walks by about 25% each week

Week 7: Start allowing off leash activity under supervision

Week 10: Gradually return to other pre-injury activities



Thank you for allowing us the privilege of caring for your dog.