Expert TPLO Surgery in Ukiah, CA
TPLO surgery, or tibial plateau leveling osteotomy, is a common orthopedic surgery performed on dogs who have torn their CCL (cranial cruciate ligament), which is often compared to the ACL in humans. CCL injuries are the most common orthopedic injury in dogs, so knowing how to repair it is an important skillset! At Mendocino Animal Hospital in Ukiah, CA, we work with a traveling veterinarian with the skills to perform TPLO surgery in dogs and help get them back in shape!
Schedule an appointment to discuss your pet’s surgical needs.
Mini-Series: Daisy's TPLO Surgery
Follow one of our patients, Daisy, as she journeys through TPLO surgery. Watch a transformation that starts with a limp and ends with a puppy-like demeanor!
What Is a Dog’s CCL?
To understand how TPLO surgery works, we must first understand the function of the CCL. The CCL is the ligament that helps the knee function as a hinge joint. A dog’s hind legs are load-bearing when *they stand*, meaning the angle in the knee is always under tension. This constant stress on the ligament is why CCL tears are one of the most common injuries. When the ligament tears, *the knee becomes unstable which causes pain, inflammation, arthritis, abnormal cartilage wear and frequently meniscal damage.*
How TPLO Surgery Works
TPLO surgery levels the angle of the tibial plateau to stabilize the knee during weight bearing. The surgery is carefully planned with computer modeling and performed using specialized surgical tools and implants. The procedure involves an incision over the inside aspect of the knee. The joint is explored to examine the damaged CCL, assess arthritis, and evaluate and treat any meniscal injuries. Next, a semicircular bone cut is made into the top portion of the tibia and the segment is rotated to level the slope. The two pieces of bone are then held in place with a locking bone plate and screws to allow for healing.