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TPLO – Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy

What is a TPLO Surgery?

TPLO stands for Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy. Basically the TPLO surgery changes the bones of the knee joint to make them work in a different, more “level” manner.

Read More: Is TPLO “Right” For My Dog?

Basic Overview of How the TPLO is Performed

The TPLO surgery begins by making an incision down the length of the leg. The veterinary surgeon will then be able to access the injured cruciate ligament (and possibly meniscus) and begin by removing the severed, torn and/or ruptured ends of the ligament.

When the damaged ligament is removed, a cut is made into the top of the tibia. Measurements are then taken of the tibia and compared to those from the preoperative X-ray. The tibial plateau (flat part at the top of the tibia) is positioned to make the slope of the knee level.

In order to hold this new slope in place, a metal place is screwed into the bone to allow the bone to heal in this new angle. The metal plates placed during a TPLO surgery can be removed later – although, due to the fact this involves another surgery, the plates are not frequently removed.

Read More: How TPLO is Performed

TPLO Recovery Time

Dogs undergoing TPLO surgery generally begin toe touching within 5 days following surgery. At about 2 weeks, most dogs will begin to consistently bear weight on the post surgical leg.

Within 6 to 8 weeks following the procedure there should be signs of the bone healing at the site where the plates were placed (which can be viewed via X-ray). As with ALL surgical CCL repair surgeries, recovery varies from dog to dog, but it is always in your best interest to take things slow over a series of months to avoid re injury or injuring the other leg.

Read More: TPLO Surgery Recovery

Estimated Cost of TPLO Surgery

While the cost varies, you can generally expect to spend $3800-5000+

The cost for TPLO can vary greatly depending on a number of factors including:

Size of Your Dog – Smaller dogs require less; many of the medications, supplies and even the metal used to hold the joint together are calculated based on weight

Geographic Location – Veterinary hospitals and clinics within major cities tend to be more expensive than smaller veterinary offices

Type of Veterinary Facility – Veterinary universities and smaller clinics typically charge less than orthopedic specialty clinics

What is Included – Are you paying ONLY for the surgery, or are post-operative x-rays, visits and medications included?

Read More: TPLO Surgery Cost

Additional Information on TPLO Surgery

The TPLO surgery is often compared to the TTA surgery due to that fact that they both create stability within the joint by manipulating the angle of the bone by surgically altering the tibia bone…

Read More: TPLO vs. TTA

Read Owner Experiences

Share Your Story

TPLO for Border Collies – Jackson

Jackson is a 5 year old Border Collie mix. So obviously, he’s extremely active! My husband and I have two dogs, and they love to play in the backyard. In October of 2013, the boys were in the backyard when Jackson, mid running at top speed, fell to the ground and cried out. LOUDLY. After […]

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TPLO or Lateral Suture (Extracapsular Repair) – Dandelion Marie

The Cruciate Injury In May of 2013, Dandelion started limping and showing signs of discomfort. I knew instantly what it was since I had another dog (Duffus) to do the same thing back in 2002. Duffus had the ACL surgery which is what they call Traditional surgery now. I didn’t want Dande to have surgery […]

Double TPLO Surgery

Double TPLO Recovery – Limping/Lameness – Loki

Our now 12 year old Brittany, Loki, has had both knees fixed with TPLO surgery. His first surgery was 18 months ago and the second about 1 year ago. Recovery went well in both cases, though he managed to break his fibula both times. In both cases, though, the fibula healed without any troubles. After […]

Pit Bulls and Knee Injuries

TPLO for Pit Bulls – Phoebe’s Story

Phoebe is our 1 1/2 year old pit bull. She was dumped with 9 other brothers and sisters at our rescue, Tyson’s Chance Animal Foundation. Phoebe is your typical dog. She loves long walks, running with her friends, treats, car rides, new faces to kiss, and oh, did we mention treats? Soon after we moved […]