Call 719-264-6666 or request your pet's appointment online.           Call Now: 719-264-6666Request Appointment Online

How the TPLO Works & How it's Performed

The TPLO changes the biomechanical properties of the canine stifle joint. The downward, backward sliding motion is eliminated following surgery resulting in joint stability. The stability is primarily a straight-forward biomechanical effect of the level tibial plateau, however the TPLO also results in repositioning of the caudal cruciate ligament, which adds to overall joint stability in dogs.

Anesthesia, needed for a canine TPLO is extremely safe using today’s anesthetic agents, equipment and monitoring devices. Once the patient is safely anesthetized a morphine epidural is performed to block the sensory innervations of the stifle. Motor dysfunction is minimal. In other words dogs can walk immediately following surgery.

Specific radiographs (X-Rays) are obtained for tibial plateau angle measurements and preoperative planning for your dog's TPLO surgery (figure 1). Once in the operating room, arthroscopy is used to confirm the diagnosis, debride (clean-up) the torn ligament and inspect the remainder of the joint and treat meniscal pathology.

TPLO Preoperative Rad

Following arthroscopy a relatively small surgical approach is made to the top of your dog's tibia. In most instances a surgical jig is placed to hold the limb in alignment and to assist in limb straightening when needed (figure 2).

A specific vibrating saw is used to perform a precise osteotomy (see arrows) without damaging surrounding soft tissues. The top portion of bone is rotated an appropriate amount (figure 3) and fixed in place using a specific plate (figure 4). The joint is tested for stability and the site is closed with buried sutures.



Maintaining limb alignment - Canine TPLO A precise osteotomy is performed

Post Operative Dog TPLO X-RayAt Colorado Canine Orthopedics the TPLO procedure takes on average between 40 and 60 minutes. Postoperative radiographs confirm tibial plateau angle (ideally about five degrees) and plate placement (figure 5). The previous downward backward sliding motion is eliminated providing stability in dogs with complete tears and preserving the remaining ACL in dogs with incomplete tears.

Patients wake up free of pain due to the the epidural and are discharged several hours later. At Colorado Canine Orthopedics almost all dogs having a TPLO can go home the day of surgery. A 24/7 ICU is available if a patient needs to spend the night.


Dog walking after TPLO surgery.


















Quick Info

  • Contact & Scheduling

    Contact & Scheduling

    To schedule call (719) 264-6666 or you can read more to request your appointment online.

    Read More
  • Meet Our Specialists

    Meet Our Specialists

    Our orthopedic veterinary specialty team includes four board certified veterinary surgeons with over 50 years of combined experience.

    Read More
  • Payment Options

    Payment Options

    Colorado Canine Orthopedics accepts a number of payment options and offers links to payment plan sources.

    Read More
  • 1

Connect With Us

  • Follow Us on Facebook and Instagram!

    Keep up with patient stories, updates and fun photos from around our facility.

    Instagram Follow canineortho on Instagram or
    tag your dog's photos with #canineortho.

  • Review Our Services

    Your feedback is important to us. We hope you'll consider sharing your review with others on Google or find other options to share your experience with us. 

    Review us onGoogle+

  • Chucks Waggin

    Chucks WagginYou'll get a kick out of weekly commentary from Chuck, our tiny resident blogger. Find his posts at Chuck's Waggin!


  • 1