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Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)

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Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotemy ( TPLO) is a surgical procedure technique used for the treatment of a torn cranial cruciate ligament of the knee joint(s) of a dog. The procedure aims to stabilize the knee joint after a ruptured ligament caused by either a deteriorating injury (typically old age with weak footing accompanied by an unfortunate floor slip) or an outright mechanical injury (sport or activity related). The stabilization technique, as the name suggests, transforms the head of the tibia leg bone so as to level the plateau on which the femoral bone rests and hence the angle at which the bones align. This surgical technique aligns the bones and reduces or eliminates slipping and thus stabilizes the entire joint.

In simplified terms, a calculated section of the tibia is cut or incised then reattached using a specialized metal plate to reaffix the bone wedge in the new desired position (osteotemy). Over time, the cut surface of the bone will then heal and form new calluses that reshape the entire plateau of the bone.

The procedure restores mobility with only a small reduction in range of motion of the joint and overall greatly improves the quality of life of your dog.

Process overview

Pre-Surgery Preparations

All procedures require pre-operational bloodwork. Food and water is restricted 8 to 12 hours prior to surgery to prevent possible aspiration due to vomiting. Depending on the case and procedure, additional diagnostic tests may be required for example EKG, Xray, or ultrasound. We may also recommend an anesthesia specialist if necessary to oversee the anesthesia and health monitoring of your pet.

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During Surgery

Your pet will given a sedative to facilitiate preparation of the surgical site and placement of IV cather. The next step is to provide oxygen, fluids, and thermal support. All medical equipment or apparatus will then be connected so as to monitor your pet's vital signs. Your pet is then anesthetized (induced) and appropriate pain management (epidural, local anesthetic, constant rate infusion/CRI) is administered as needed. We will continue to regulate and monitor your pet throughout the procedure.

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Immediately following the procedure, we continue to administer fluids and observe your pet for a few hours until your pet is fully awake. Discharge instructions will be provided during which all your post-op questions will be answered by the doctor and your pet is able to go home to start his/her recovery process. Follow-up post-operative exams and post-operation pain medication is provided.

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