April 24, 2018

A stronger TPLO

There are at least a dozen ways to fix a cruciate tear for our patients.  Dr. Wardlaw offers the traditional lateral suture, a lateral plus (bone anchor and braided suture-similar to the tight-rope), and a locking plate TPLO.

Screws 1Locking TPLO plates and screws are now common place in academics, progressive referral practices and at Gateway Veterinary Surgery, your concierge surgical practice. When you use a locking plate system, you get the traditional security of engaging both bone cortices, but you also gain the additional security of the screw locking itself to the plate.  This extra tight bond makes the plate work like an external fixator, but within the leg.  You can now count both bone cortices the screw is purchasing and the plate as an added point of security. So each single screw has 3 points of security, that’s up to 18 points in a standard TPLO locking plate versus 12.

The osteotomy is stable, the reduction secure, and the dog is able to heal with primary bone healing despite the sometimes less than optimal cage confinement from the owner. While the additional training, equipment and screws add up to slightly more cost, in Dr. Wardlaw’s opinion, they are worth it for our patients.

“I treat each animal as if they were my own.  I strive to be cost effective, but there are corners I will not cut as a board certified small animal surgeon. I only use locking plates for my TPLO procedures, because they are better and stronger.

Maintenance of tibial plateau position was significantly superior for the locking screw group during plate application”

Vet Surg. 2008 Jun;37(4):357-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-950X.2008.00389.x.

Positioning a TPLO

Drill 1