Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) for Canine Cruciate Ligament Tear


A Cruciate Ligament Tear is one of the most common knee injuries in dogs, leading to pain, lameness, and long-term joint issues if not addressed. Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy, or TPLO, is a highly effective surgical procedure designed to stabilize the knee joint in dogs suffering from a torn cruciate ligament, offering them a chance at a pain-free, active life.

Why TPLO Surgery?

The cruciate ligament helps stabilize the knee joint. When it tears, it can cause significant pain and lead to arthritis. Traditional surgery aimed to replace the torn ligament, but TPLO has revolutionized treatment by altering the knee's biomechanics, thereby eliminating the need for the cruciate ligament altogether.

Why perform surgery at Allied Veterinary Service?

  • Our surgeons have undergone rigorous residency training in small animal orthopedic, soft tissue and minimally invasive surgery. 
  • Patients receiving this procedure typically receive spinal blocks and/or regional pain blocks to ensure the best experience possible for your beloved pet.  
  • Our doctors will care for your pet 24/7 before and after your pet’s surgery and tailor treatment according to the patient’s needs. 

What Does the Surgery Involve?

TPLO surgery involves cutting and rotating the tibial plateau (the top of the shin bone) to change its angle. This prevents the femur (thigh bone) from sliding off the tibia (shin bone) when the dog moves, thus stabilizing the knee joint without the need for the cruciate ligament.

Benefits of Surgery:

  • Enhanced Stability in the Knee: TPLO changes the dynamics of the knee to prevent sliding of the joint surfaces.
  • Reduced Pain: Most dogs experience significant pain relief and improved leg function post-surgery.
  • Improved Quality of Life: Dogs can return to normal activity levels more quickly than with traditional ligament repair techniques.
  • Lower Risk of Arthritis: By stabilizing the knee joint, TPLO surgery can help reduce the progression of arthritis.

Risks and Complications:

Though TPLO is considered safe, it carries the risks inherent to all surgical procedures, including:

  • Infection: Rare but can occur at the surgery site.
  • Implant Failure: The metal plates and screws can sometimes break or become loose, requiring additional surgery.
  • Tibial Fracture: Though uncommon, improper activity during the healing process can lead to fractures.
  • Arthritis: Surgery cannot reverse arthritis already present in the joint.

Recovery and Aftercare:

  • Confinement and Limited Activity: Your dog will need to be kept mostly confined with limited activity for the first few weeks post-surgery.
  • Physical Rehabilitation: Rehab plays a crucial role in recovery, helping to regain strength and flexibility.
  • Follow-up Visits: Regular check-ups will monitor healing and allow for adjustments in the recovery plan as needed.
  • Pain Management: Medications will be provided to manage your dog's pain during the recovery period.

Cost Considerations:

We offer a comprehensive cost estimate before proceeding, including all aspects of pre-operative, surgical, and post-operative care.

Final Thoughts:

Deciding on TPLO surgery for your dog is a significant but potentially life-changing choice for pets suffering from a cruciate ligament tear. Our veterinary team is committed to supporting you and your pet through this journey, providing expert care every step of the way.

Legal Disclaimer:

This information is for educational purposes and should not replace professional veterinary consultation. Treatment outcomes vary by individual. Consult your veterinarian to understand the best treatment options for your pet.

Contact Us:

Should you have any questions or wish to discuss TPLO surgery for your dog further, please reach out to our clinic. Our dedicated team is here to provide guidance and support.

Allied Veterinary Service - Emergency and Referral 
8301 93rd Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445 
(763) 463-9800
Open 24 hours