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Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)

What is a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy?

A TPLO is a method to repair a cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) rupture in a dog. A CCL tear in the dog is similar to an ACL tear in people. It can be an abrupt tear during trauma or some other strenuous activity as often occurs in people. However, it can also be a slow deterioration of the ligament over weeks or months, potentially affecting both knees (also known as stifles). Following a CCL tear, the limp is usually quite severe. While some improvement may occur with time, surgery is the best method of treatment for a dog with a CCL tear.

Over the past 30 years, numerous surgical techniques have been developed. The TPLO method has been a very popular surgical repair for the past several years. The TPLO is usually the best option for large breed dogs but is also a good option for moderate and small breeds, especially if a full return to an active lifestyle is desired. For the TPLO surgery, we change the angle of the tibia (the bone below the stifle), so the ligament is no longer needed, unlike the human procedure where the ligament is repaired.