TPLO Surgery

In 1993, Dr. Barry Slocum performed the first TPLO surgery. It’s now one of the most commonly performed orthopedic surgery for pets. Trumbull Animal Hospital in Trumbull, CT, lists what you need to know about TPLO surgery.

What Is TPLO Surgery?

TPLO is short for tibial plateau leveling osteotomy. If that sounds complex, that’s because it is. This is orthopedic surgery for pets that helps with torn cranial cruciate ligaments or CCLs in the hind legs.

How Commonly Do Pets Tear Their CCLs?

Dogs do it so often that 85% of all orthopedic injuries are CCL tears. Sometimes, people call CCL tears ACL tears, since the CCL is the pet equivalent of the ACL or anterior cruciate ligament in people.

The TPLO Surgical Procedure

The surgery basically reconstructs part of the hind leg so that your pet can walk and stand without pain.

Is TPLO Surgery Ever Done for Cats?

TPLO can be done for cats, but it is harder for the surgeon to perform. Their legs are sloped differently than in dogs. The surgery is usually only needed in extreme circumstances.

The Cost of TPLO Surgery

It is no secret that TPLO surgery costs thousands of dollars. You may have to get a bank loan to pay for your dog’s surgery. Many country and city veterinary clinics offer financing, so you do not have to foot the bill all at once.

Effectiveness of TPLO Surgery

Dog and cat owners are willing to foot the bill for such an expensive surgery for a simple reason: it works. About 50% of dogs that get TPLO surgery are able to walk on the bad leg within 24 hours. Dogs are usually fully recovered after six months. Cats have similar results, but usually take a little longer to begin putting weight on the bad leg.

Post-surgical Recovery

It’s normal for your dog to be in pain after TPLO surgery. You can help your dog’s recovery by following your veterinarian’s instructions and these tips:

  • Use cold packs to help the pain and swelling for 15 minutes several times a day for the first 5 days
  • Use a heat pack starting on day 6

Even after TPLO surgery, your dog may want to chase squirrels or run about. This will cause further injury. When your dog needs to go outside to defecate, keep your dog on a leash to make sure he or she does not run or jump about.

Check every day for signs of infection, such as swelling, redness and tenderness.

Visit Our Veterinarian in Trumbull, CT

If you have further questions about TPLO surgery for your dog and live in the Trumbull, CT, area, contact Trumbull Animal Hospital by emailing [email protected] or by calling (203) 268-6231 to make an appointment today.


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