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Orthopaedic Surgery

TPLO Surgery

Orthopaedic surgery encompasses any surgery that is related to bones or joints. It includes procedures such as fracture repairs and ligament repairs. We have a fully equipped surgical suite that allows us to perform a variety of orthopaedic surgical procedures that your pet may require.

In our orthopaedic procedures and major operations, your pet’s comfort is our priority. All of our patients receive a pain pack that includes a slow-releasing opioid patch over the following 5 days, and anti-inflammatory medication to keep them painfree and happy.

Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy (TPLO) Surgery
To repair cranial cruciate ligament deficit, TPLO is the most recommended surgery by the veterinary specialists. Dr. Dilpreet Pannu is not a specialist, but he is a skilled GP surgeon who has been performing this procedure since 2014. We have successfully undertaken this surgery at our practice several times. Dr. Pannu has performed this surgery on patients as far as Mt. Gambier in South Australia.

TPLO SURGERY is required as a corrective surgery to cranial cruciate ligament tear.
Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) tear is one of the most common injuries to the stifle (knee) of dogs. The injury is similar to the injury of the anterior cruciate ligament in people. The tear can be a complete rupture or a partial tear to the ligament. Once the ligament is torn a veterinarian might be able to get a positive drawer sign during the examination. A positive drawer sign is when you can move the top of the tibia in relation to the femur. This indicates cranial cruciate ligament disease. However sometimes to assess for a positive drawer sign we may need to sedate the dog to assess the ligament properly and radiographs may also
be performed at this stage.

Common signs of cranial cruciate ligament tear:

  • Carrying one of the back legs or only walking on the three legs if severe or recent rupture
  • Reluctance to run and jump on all four legs
  • Limping or holding up a back leg after exercise
  • Pain when touching or manipulating the knee joint
  • Stiffness on one of the back legs after exercise or just getting up after lying down
  • Stiffness on one of the back legs during cold weather

There are several techniques to repair the dog’s torn CCL. TPLO surgery is the most
recommended surgery for young, active dogs & large breed dogs.

TPLO surgery involves stabilising the knee joint so your dog can use the limb without needing the cranial cruciate ligament. It involves using an orthopaedic saw to create a cut in the top of the tibia (shin bone) and realigning this part of the tibia to reduce the angle of the tibial plateau. This leads to a decrease in the sliding motion of the joint while the joint is in use. To stabilise the cut made, a locking bone plate is used with the screws to stabilise the bone while the healing takes place over next 6-10 weeks.

Recovering from TPLO surgery
Dogs who have undergone a TPLO surgery are usually able to weight bear 2 weeks postoperatively. A limp or gait abnormality is normal up until 10 weeks post- surgery. At 6-10 weeks they will require a post-operative x-ray to assess the TPLO site. By 3-4 months postsurgery the majority of dogs who have undergone a TPLO surgery will be able to start walking and playing normally, with restrictions placed on stressful physical activity. Within 6 months, most dogs are able to resume full physical activity. Studies suggest 93% of pets can return to full normal function within a year after surgery. Only 6.6% of cases require repeat surgery.

Please contact the clinic and book an appointment to discuss whether this would be an appropriate treatment option for your pet. We can provide the estimate for the procedure during the consultation depending on the size of your pet and whether other diagnostic procedures such as x-rays are undertaken.

Generally, the TPLO surgery at our practice costs $2800-$2900 not including the repeat xrays at 10 weeks’ time post-surgery.