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What is TPLO Surgery in Dogs

by Tim

TPLO stands for tibial plateau leveling osteotomy. It is essentially a procedure that is used for treating the anterior cranial cruciate ligament in the knee of dogs. This mainly involves shifting the perspective of the top part of the shin bone.

It involves the cutting of the bone and changing its perspective by rotation. This also involves shifting it to a new position utilizing plates and bolts.

Cranial cruciate ligament is the determining factor of lesser activity and laziness in dogs. Due to restricted movement, the dogs cannot move as such. Therefore, it is one of the most important surgical procedures performed on dogs.

How is the TPLO Surgery Performed?

As there is a flaw detected in the cranial cruciate ligament of your dog, it can be seen that the knee is significantly more disturbed. This can be seen by the abnormal movement your dog makes while running or walking.

This is because the dog tries to absorb more weight with the assistance of their knees. The knees are unable to absorb the added weight and therefore, an unstable movement is detected.

The main reason for this is that the tibial plateau at the top of the knee is not creating an angle of 90 degrees as it used to. It is not slightly lower at an angle.

TPLO surgery aims to reestablish the perpendicular shape of the bone. This surgery is important as ignorance of it can cause excessive pressure on the shin bone as well. Therefore, for these reasons, TPLO surgery is required.

Is My Dog in Need of TPLO Surgery

The TPLO is a complicated and carefully performed surgery that can have severe side effects on certain dogs. Therefore, it is suggested to perform this only on dogs where the advantage of the surgery is more mandatory than the risks involved in other types of surgeries aimed to address the same problem.

The Chances and Threats Involved

TPLO surgery is a significant operation. Potential side effects include infection, loosening of the screws, and a delayed healing period for the osteotomy wound. A tiny proportion of dogs that had healthy cartilage at the time of TPLO surgery later developed tears in it.

Usually, there is an abrupt increase in lameness and the torn portion of cartilage needs to be removed with a second operation (keyhole or arthroscopy). The majority of individuals who are chosen for TPLO surgery experience less knee discomfort and improved limb function, despite the possibility of consequences.


If your dog takes part in active sports and recreational activities, or if your dog is going to perform military tasks. It is suggested that you perform this surgery as soon as possible. This is to avoid any performance-related issues or to keep your dog at their best in terms of physical condition and health.


Can TPLO be performed on small dogs?

Yes, many surgeons are performing TPLO surgeries on small dogs along with fully mature dogs.

What risks are involved in this surgery?

It is recommended that you contact your surgeon regarding this. As it can vary in different dogs.

Is an X-ray required before TPLO surgery?

X-ray scans are required before a TPLO surgery and are mandatory.

Will the dog experience pain when it comes to after surgery period?

The use of morphine will make sure that your dog feels as little pain as possible after the surgery.

Can we do TPLO surgery on both legs at the same time?

This is dependent on your surgeon. Nevertheless, it can be a difficult and painful situation for both the dog and its owner.

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