|Silly girl "cuddling" with Auntie Bree|
Quick description of TPLO (Tibial-plateau-leveling osteotomy) surgery from Wikipedia:
TPLO, or tibial-plateau-leveling osteotomy, is a surgery performed on dogs to stabilize the stifle joint after ruptures of the cranial cruciate ligament (analogous to the anterior cruciate ligament [ACL] in humans, and sometimes colloquially called the same).
The cranial cruciate ligament runs from the cranila mid part of the tibial intercondylar eminence to the lateral condyle of the femur. Normally, the CrCL prevents caudal (backward) movement of the Femur relative to the Tibia. When it ruptures, the joint becomes unstable which causes pain and can lead to chronic progressive arthritis in the stifle if untreated.
In a TPLO procedure, the tibial plateau, the portion of the tibia adjoining the stifle, is cut and rotated so that its slope changes to approximately 5 degrees from the horizontal plane. This prevents the femur from sliding down the slope of the tibial plateau when the dog puts weight on its knee. Thus surgery generally results in faster recovery times compared to other procedures to stabilize the knee. Most dogs (over 90%) are expected to regain a very active and athletic lifestyle with no post-operative complications and without the need for any long-term pain relieving medication.
I will be adding my own pictures/videos of Riley's recovery in hopes that this will be an encouragement to anyone dealing with the same issue. I have absolute faith in the vets at UC Davis. They are, after all, the #2 vet school in the country!