Vet Blog

What Is the Success Rate for TPLO Surgery in Dogs?

July 27, 2020

CCL tears are one of the most common and most serious injuries in dogs.

A CCL rupture can permanently impair your dog's mobility, so it's important to seek treatment right away. Because of its high success rate, TPLO surgery has become the treatment of choice. TPLO surgery success rates at Animal Care Center of Castle Pines are even higher than average due to our skilled surgeons, a pain management protocol, and dedicated rehabilitation team.

Rupture of the Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL)

The CCL, or cranial cruciate ligament, is analogous to the ACL in humans. The CCL connects the back of the femur to the front of the tibia and stabilizes the knee joint. Rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament is a serious condition that could permanently hinder your dog's mobility. Large breeds such as labradors, Rottweilers, and golden retrievers are the most susceptible, but any size of dog can suffer a knee injury.

Young, athletic dogs who engage in occasional strenuous exercise can fall victim to CCL ruptures. However, because the knee ligaments slowly deteriorate as a dog ages, even minor trauma can cause serious injury in older dogs. Due to the degenerative nature of the condition, CCL ruptures commonly affect both knee joints. If a dog ruptures the CCL in one knee, the other knee will likely be affected as well.

TPLO Surgery Success Rates

A Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy, or TPLO surgery, stabilizes the knee and permanently reduces stress on the joint. TPLO surgery decreases muscle atrophy, speeds up the healing of the bone, and reduces the risk of developing arthritis. Because it has been practiced for over 20 years, TPLO is one of the most researched surgical procedures in dogs. The success rate for TPLO surgery is very high-between 90% and 95%.

Compared to any other procedure, dogs who undergo TPLO surgery recover more quickly and get back on all four feet sooner. With TPLO surgery and proper rehabilitation, your dog will be able to recover completely from a CCL tear and regain full mobility. The vast majority of patients return to normal or nearly normal activity within six months.

TPLO Surgery Risks

As with any procedure requiring anesthesia, TPLO surgery carries certain risks. At Animal Care Center, your pet will be very carefully monitored by our highly trained veterinary technicians and supervised by multiple veterinarians throughout the surgery. Our hospital adheres to the highest standards of veterinary medicine and we will give your pet our full attention throughout the entire procedure.

Any surgery involving implants also bears certain risk factors, including infection and breakage. We minimize the chance of infection through our meticulous surgical preparation and prescribe oral antibiotics as an added precaution. There is also a small chance of implant breakage or soft tissue damage if there is too much activity or if your pet slips and falls. We will instruct you in proper aftercare to reduce this risk as well.

Pain Management for TPLO Surgery

At Animal Care Center of Castle Pines, we feel that preemptive analgesia is extremely important in controlling any pain associated with surgery. We give preoperative opioid pain medications, perform epidural blocks, and place a long-acting numbing medication around the entire surgical site. We also provide intraoperative and postoperative continuous-rate infusion pain medications.

This combination of analgesics and pain suppressants significantly decreases the stress and pain associated with surgery. It also allows your dog to go home the same day as surgery, where they can recover in a comfortable and familiar environment. Our pain management protocol for the TPLO procedure is vital to the success of the surgery and the comfort of your pet.

TPLO Surgery Aftercare

Obtaining the best function after TPLO surgery requires both at-home care and professional rehabilitation. At discharge, we will go over all of the post-operative instructions which will be typed out for you to take home. You will also meet with our canine rehabilitation team to go over at-home care instructions as well as in-hospital rehabilitation recommendations.

The most essential part of the healing process is restricting your dog's movement. Too much activity can lead to delayed healing, soft tissue injury, or implant breakage. It could take up to six months before some dogs are able to return to their normal levels of activity. Our committed rehabilitation team will guide you through the post-surgery recovery process and help you every step of the way.

Contact Us

If you have questions about TPLO surgery or our TPLO surgery success rate, contact Animal Care Center of Castle Pines to schedule a consultation. We offer comprehensive medical care and diagnostics, advanced pain management, surgery, rehabilitation, and many other important services to ensure your pet's health and wellness. Give your dog the best chance for a full recovery and lifelong mobility-call us at (303) 688-3660 or visit our website to make an appointment today.