Many pet owners have heard of the ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, in a human knee. A torn ACL is an injury quite common to athletes and involves an extended recovery time to regain full range of motion and stability of the injured leg.
In dogs, a tear of the CCL, or cranial cruciate ligament, is the equivalent injury. Many pets can rupture the CCL after extended wear and tear on the ligament or, more commonly, during a sudden injury.
The good news for our pet patients is that fixing the cruciate rupture through TPLO surgery is a fairly straightforward and effective procedure for getting injured dogs healed quickly. At Central Oregon Animal Hospital, our veterinarians are experienced in TPLO and other major orthopedic procedures.
How TPLO Surgery Changes the Dynamics of the Knee
If your dog is showing continued signs of pain and immobility, a CCL tear is the likely culprit. To find out, we'll use pet diagnostics and digital ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis, allowing our staff to look at the mechanics of the knee in a non-invasive way.
Upon confirming the diagnosis, we take the time to explain the various orthopedic procedures that can help your pet regain function. TTA, or Tibial Tuberosity Advancement, is one such procedure. TPLO surgery is an alternative to TTA, but involves the placement of a plate and screws instead of a titanium implant.
TPLO surgery has a high success rate, as it erases the need for a CCL in your pet's knee. The dynamics of the knee are changed when the tibia bone is cut and rotated, which stops the femur from sliding backward and helps to stabilize the knee.
Post-Operative Recovery from TPLO
The first 8-to-12 weeks following TPLO surgery is considered the most important, though it can take longer to get a dog close to 100 percent. Every canine is different in recovery due to age and fitness level at the time of the procedure.
Upon return home from surgery, we may recommend the use of a sling to support your dog's back end until he or she can walk on her own. The dog should avoid stairs and will need to be in a confined area where they cannot climb on or jump on furniture.
Overall, studies evaluating long-term outcomes show that many dogs return to an active lifestyle after TPLO surgery while erasing the need for continued use of pain medication.
Call Your Veterinarian in Bend for an Orthopedic Consultation
Central Oregon Animal Hospital serves patients in Bend, Redmond, Sunriver, and surrounding areas. Call us today at (541)-382-7067 to schedule a pre-operative orthopedic consultation and discuss the benefits of TPLO surgery.