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Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy (TPLO): an overview

by Laurence Williams
11 December 2018, at 12:00am

The tibial plateau levelling osteotomy (TPLO) purpose is to eliminate the joint instability caused by the cranial cruciate ligament rupture (LCCr) by performing a radial osteotomy of the proximal tibia.

According to published studies, this surgical procedure has had excellent results. Gatineau et. al (2011) states that 94.6% of the cases were successful after the TPLO.

The TPLO postoperative complications range from 18 to 28%, however, only 1.6 to 8.4% of the cases require a second intervention. The most common complications are tibial tuberosity fracture, implant failure, patellar tendon tendonitis, rupture of the menisci and infection.

Nowadays the TPLO is the most used surgical technique and it is considered the best surgical option for the rupture of LCCr in medium to giant animals and, according to Berger et. al (2015), also in small dogs (<15 kg). The benefits of this technique include high geometric precision and maintenance of the original position of the tuberosity of the tibia and of the patellofemoral joint. Comparing the TPLO with other techniques used in the treatment of LCCr rupture, a better clinical recovery is observed and there is a greater satisfaction of the owners.