Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) disease is the most common orthopedic disease in dogs (see CCL overview section ). The CCL is located inside the knee and functions to stabilize the knee during locomotion. Because the articular surface of the canine tibia (shin bone) is sloped backward, normal locomotion leads to forward translation (tibial thrust) of the tibia with relation to the femur (thigh bone). An intact CCL will maintain stability of the knee, but a damaged or torn CCL will lead to abnormal motion such as tibial thrust. This instability can lead to lameness, osteoarthritis, abnormal cartilage wear, and/or meniscal injury.
The TPLO is the most common orthopedic procedure performed at DVSC for dogs with CCL disease. The theory behind the TPLO is to flatten the natural slope of the tibia in order to eliminate tibial thrust and provide stability to the knee (see procedure).
Below is a picture of the stifle and associated structures mentioned above.
Figure 1 – Stifle (Knee) Anatomy
When to consider the TPLO
The TPLO procedure can be considered for almost any dog with CCL disease. Though historically it was chosen for active, large breed dogs, recent experience has found excellent results with small/medium breed dogs as well. In addition, it can be chosen for