Is your dog having TPLO surgery?

Canine TPLO and Physiotherapy for cruciate ligament injury

2/22/20242 min read

dog's face
dog's face

Canine health is a priority for every pet owner. When our furry companions face health issues, it's crucial to explore effective treatment options to ensure they can lead happy, active lives. One such solution for certain orthopedic conditions in dogs is TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) surgery, often coupled with physiotherapy to maintain functional movement and strength following surgery.

TPLO surgery is a specialised orthopedic procedure primarily employed to address cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injuries in dogs. The CCL helps stabilizes the knee joint, the knee joint is a hinge joint and these ligaments help stop the joint from rotating between the femur and tibia. When this ligament is damaged, it can lead to pain, instability, and reduced mobility in dogs.

TPLO surgery aims to stabilize the knee joint by altering the biomechanics of the joint itself, reducing the need for the CCL's function. Unlike traditional techniques that rely on replacing or repairing the damaged ligament, TPLO surgery involves reshaping the tibial plateau to change the dynamics of the knee joint.

Benefits of TPLO Surgery:

  1. Improved Stability: By altering the angle of the tibial plateau, TPLO surgery enhances joint stability, reducing the likelihood of future injuries.

  2. Faster Recovery: Compared to some alternative procedures, TPLO surgery often results in a quicker recovery time, allowing dogs to return to their active lifestyles sooner.

  3. Long-term Success: TPLO surgery offers excellent long-term outcomes, with many dogs experiencing significant improvement in mobility and quality of life.

While TPLO surgery is a highly effective treatment for CCL injuries, proper rehabilitation is crucial for optimal recovery. This is where physiotherapy plays a pivotal role. Canine physiotherapy / rehab focuses on restoring strength, flexibility, and function to the affected limb, promoting healing and preventing complications.

Key Components of Canine Physiotherapy Post-TPLO Surgery which I can help you with

  1. Controlled Exercise Programs: Physiotherapists design customised exercise regimens tailored to each dog's specific needs, gradually increasing activity levels as the dog's condition improves.

  2. Passive Range of Motion (ROM) Exercises: Gentle joint exercises help maintain joint mobility, prevent stiffness and regular check up of your dogs joints

  3. Canine Massage and Manual Therapy: These techniques help alleviate muscle tension, improve circulation, and reduce pain. Contractures of muscles can result with surgery, commonly of the quadriceps. Tailored manual therapy and accompanying exercises can help improve the muscle quality

  4. Balance and Proprioception Training: Exercises that challenge balance and coordination aid in retraining the muscles and ligaments to support the knee joint effectively. By starting easy and working up the levels this allows for safe enhancement of exercise focusing on the correct body alignment

  5. Pain Management: Physiotherapists employ various modalities, such as laser therapy, or referal back to the vet to manage pain and inflammation during the recovery process.

  6. Owner Support: We are here to guide you in the process for some support in the difficult and challenging weeks post op

    Canine TPLO surgery, coupled with physiotherapy, offers a comprehensive approach to treating CCL injuries in dogs. By addressing the underlying cause of joint instability and providing targeted rehabilitation, pet owners can help their furry companions regain mobility, reduce pain, and enjoy an active, fulfilling life. With proper care, support, and guidance from veterinary professionals and physiotherapists, dogs can bounce back from injury and continue to bring joy to their families for years to come!