TPLO orthopedic surgery

At Animal Emergency & Specialty Center of Knoxville, we're proud to be a recognized leader in performing effective tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) surgery for our patients. Most commonly conducted on dogs, this procedure helps repair cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) tears in and around the knee joint for pets.

Call Animal Emergency and Specialty Center of Knoxville at 865-693-4440 to schedule a surgical consultation with one of our board-certified surgeons, Richard Wong, DVM, DACVS-SA, or Mark Bohling, DVM, DACVS for more information on TPLO orthopedic surgery.

You can also message us through our TPLO Information Form and a member of our veterinary staff will get back to you and see how we can assist you and your pet on to the road to recovery.

Man and Dog by Lake

Details about TPLO surgeries

Many pet owners are surprised to find out that a dog knee is similar to a human knee. Similar to when a human tears an ACL, pets can tear the animal-equivalent ligament (CCL) in an injury, with excessive weight gain, or in old age. If you ever see your dog limping after playtime in the park, it could indicate a CCL tear.

In a CCL tear, the dog or cat's knee joint becomes unstable, and it's no longer able to bear the normal weight of day-to-day walking. TPLO surgery helps to repair any CCL tears to promote quick healing. It's a highly specialized surgery that, with the right veterinary team, can have a very high success rate.

Is your pet limping? Contact our hospital for more information about TPLO surgery and how we can help your pet have a quick and safe recovery.

Paws in Hands

Signs of CCL tears

Your pet might be suffering from a CCL tear if they display any of the following:

  • Lameness or inability to bear weight on a leg
  • Swelling, particularly on the inside of the knee
  • Yelping, whimpering, or overt signs of pain
  • Difficulty walking on stairs

If your pet has a CCL tear, it's important to treat right away to avoid the tear worsening over time. Our surgical team can help to promptly diagnose your pet and evaluate treatment options.

dog with ecollar

TPLO treatment for pets

If a pet is a candidate for TPLO surgery, our specialized surgical team will follow our standard surgery protocol to prioritize pet safety and recovery, which includes:

  • Laboratory tests and diagnostics—To ensure a complete picture of your pet's health on surgery day, we'll conduct pre-operative complete blood count and blood chemistry tests. We may also take x-rays to view the injury before surgery.
  • Anesthesia and monitoring—Your pet will be put under anesthesia and kept warm throughout the surgery. Our trusted team will monitor your pet throughout the procedure to ensure vital signs are good.
  • Surgery—During surgery, we'll identify tears and repair as needed. As with most TPLO surgeries, the procedure will be secured with a mini TPLO plate and screws to keep surgical repairs in place.
  • Post-operative x-rays—We'll obtain additional digital X-rays after the surgery to ensure a successful surgery.
  • Recovery—Our team will comfort your pet as he or she wakes from anesthesia. If necessary, we may keep your pet overnight so a trusted professional can monitor him or her. When your pet is ready to go home, we'll provide you with clear post-surgical care instructions, including pain management medications, so recovery is as smooth as possible.
  • Post-surgery follow up—After some time in recovery, we'll see your pet again to monitor healing and make note of recovery. We'll also make recommendations for a physical therapy regimen to strengthen ligaments and nearby muscles.

How to schedule surgery with our hospital

We can schedule a consultation with one of our veterinary surgeons to assess your pet's case. In an emergency situation, pets can be taken in through our 24-hour emergency service and then scheduled for a consultation with one of our surgeons.