TPLO surgery for your dog may be the best option for your pet after you have carefully weighed all of the other surgical and non-surgical options for canine cruciate ligament (CCL) repair available. This article will provide you with a general overview of what the TPLO dog surgery entails, and how much you can expect a TPLO repair to cost.
What is a dog TPLO surgery?
TPLO stands for Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy, which in simple english means that they are changing the bones of the knee joint to make them work in a different, more “level” manner. The veterinary surgeon will start by making an incision in your dog’s injured leg, and the cut will be made down the length of the leg. Through this incision the veterinarian will then access the injured acl (or ccl as it is more properly called in dogs) and begin by removing the severed, torn and/or ruptured ends of the ligament. Once the cranial cruciate ligament damage has been removed, a cut is made in the top of the tibia. Measurements are then taken and compared to those from the pre-op x-ray, and the tibial plateau is positioned to make the slope of the knee level. A plate is then screwed into the top of the bone to allow the bone to heal in its new angular position; the metal plates can be removed later, although this involves another procedure. To read more about this surgery click TPLO Surgery Procedure.
A Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy is a difficult veterinary procedure, and you should expect to be billed accordingly. While prices vary across the US, I can tell you first hand an estimate I received for my 90 pound dog. The estimate came with both a high and low price, and included all of the pre and post operative care, barring any complications, which are not included. This estimate was from a veterinary speciality hospital, and my dog would have stayed overnight following the surgery with monitoring and pain control. The low end of the estimate was $3,892.79 and the high end of the estimate was $4,03.58 for TPLO surgery. The lowest quote I have seen for a TPLO knee repair was $2,500 at a rural veterinary clinic in one of the midwestern states, and I have heard up to $6-7,000 for a TPLO acl surgery at one of the leading veterinary school’s affiliated clinics. Vets are aware that the cost of a TPLO surgery for your dog can be a difficult burden, and many are willing to work with you to cut out on extra costs and/or create payment plans.