TPLO (tibial plateau leveling osteotomy)
This is the gold standard correction for a torn ACL/CCL in dogs. This procedure involves the adjustment of the proximal tibia to eliminate the need of the ACL/CCL. Very exact pre-surgical radiographs (X-rays) are taken to determine the slope of the tibia (tibial plateau angle) to allow for the appropriate amount of rotation needed to eliminate tibial thrust. During surgery a TPLO specific saw is used to make a very precise cut through the tibia, then a specialized plate and set of screws will be used to secure the bone once the correction/rotation is made.
Recovery time for a TPLO is 8-12 weeks and requires very strict exercise restriction during that time. During the recovery phase, the body will repair the osteotomy (cut through the tibia). Rechecks are around 2 weeks post-op and 8 weeks post-op. The 2 week recheck is to ensure the incision is fully healed and that the patient is progressing appropriately. Radiographs/X-rays will be taken at the 8 week recheck to determine if the surgical site has healed appropriately. Once healed the plate and screws will no longer be needed but will remain in place unless causing an issue.
Lateral Suture Correction (for smaller dogs)
The goal of lateral suture correction is to stabilize the dog’s knee by using monofilament (a single stand of fiber very similar to fishing line) on the outside of the knee joint, thus creating stability. This suture is designed to mimic the original ACL ligament. The suture is looped through the front part of the tibia, then looped around the fabellar bone. Lateral Sutures are typically recommended for dogs weighing less than 30 pounds.