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TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy); this type of dog knee surgery has become increasingly popular over the past few years. It is used to treat dogs that have torn the cranial cruciate ligament in their leg. You have probably heard of this ligament before, it's just that it is most commonly referred to as an ACL. If your dog is in need of ACL surgery, it is imperative that you are aware of your options and that you do your part in helping with the aftercare process. Let's take a closer look at this veterinary surgery, including its benefits as well as its alternatives.
Dr. Barclay Slocum is the medical healthcare professional who developed TPLO surgery. It has been in existence now for more than 20 years and has proven itself time and time again to be very effective in providing a long-term solution for dogs who are enduring excruciating pain due to a torn ACL.
To understand this type of surgery, you must first have a basic understanding of how the leg in a dog works. First of all, as your dog stands, you will notice that his knee is always slightly bent; this means that the ACL is the knee is always load-bearing, meaning it takes on weight even when standing still and always has tension. Because of this constant tension in the ACL, it becomes more susceptible to injury.
A torn ACL leads to the dog's femur rubbing on the back of the tibia, which leads to extreme pain and inflammation. If your dog has a torn ACL, there is a good chance he won't put any weight on the leg in an attempt to lessen the pain. If your dog does put weight on the torn ACL, it will probably be very minimal. One of the best things about TPLO surgery is that it completely reconstructs the dynamics of the knee. The knee itself is completely stabilized. In fact, the surgery recreates the knee in a way that the ACL is no longer needed.
Our office only performs TPLO surgery; however, you do have alternatives to choose from:
Most dogs that undergo a TPLO surgery will be putting weight back on their leg after only a couple of days. Some even put weight back on their leg the next day after surgery. You will need to bring your dog back in to visit the veterinarian every so often to check on his recovery. If your Colorado Springs dog is in need of TPLO surgery, please do not hesitate to contact Faithful Friends Animal Hospital today.