TPLO Post-Operative Care

About the Procedure:

TPLO stands for Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy – this orthopaedic procedure is used to stabilise the knee after a cruciate ligament rupture. The surgery involves opening the knee joint and removing a wedge of bone in a circular cut in the tibia, the joint is then rotated and the bone held in place with a plate & screws. The aim of surgery is to increase stability of the joint without directly repairing the cruciate ligament.


X-rays will be taken prior to the procedure to allow the preparations and measurements of the joint to be made, the whole leg will be shaved to maintain sterility during the procedure. Painkillers and antibiotics will be administered to your dog in premedication prior to the operation. Your dog will be hospitalised overnight after the procedure to ensure adequate pain relief can be maintained throughout your dog’s recovery period.


The recovery period for the TPLO operation can take between 2-3 months. It is generally slow but progressive. Your dog will be sent home with a course of painkillers and antibiotics to ensure they’re kept comfortable at home.

Exercise plan:

  • Strict rest is imperative for the first 3 days up to 1 week post-op, with gentle lead or harness walking for toileting purposes only.
  • From week 2, up to 5 minutes gentle lead/harness walking twice daily, increasing by 5 minutes every week
  • We recommend your dog is kept in a small room or dog crate if suitable, for the first few weeks of recovery especially when left alone in the house to avoid overuse of the limb & injury.
  • Any jumping up or sudden bursts of activity is strongly discouraged as this can cause the plate or screws to move and delay healing

We recommend your dog be seen at our Pet Fitness & Rehabilitation Centre 24-72 hours after the operation as long as your vet is happy for this. Here, our fully qualified physiotherapists can guide you through the rehabilitation process. Your dog can be given laser therapy to encourage the healing process, and a home physiotherapy exercise plan will be tailored to your pet, with adaptations to optimise recovery. At around 6-8 weeks post-op, working alongside your vet, our physiotherapists can progress your dog’s rehabilitation programme to include hydrotherapy, which will help to build muscle mass and strength that may have been lost.

You will need a vet-signed referral form to use our fitness & rehab centre. For more information on how these services can benefit your pet and to download a referral form, please visit our Fitness and Rehabilitation centre or call 01527 910516.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

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