Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy


TPLO Surgery is performed on dogs to stabilize the stifle joint after rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament. The cranial cruciate ligament prevents backward-forward movement in the knee joint. Tares in the ligament make the joint become unstable and the dog suffers from lack of mobility and lameness.


The tibial plateau leveling osteotomy involves making a curved cut in the top of the tibial bone. The tibial plateau is then rotated along the curved osteomotomy in order to level the slop. A plate and screws are used to hold the tibial plateau in place so the bone can heal in its new position.

The procedure also involves specific radiographic positioning prior to surgery for calculations to determine the degree of rotation required to level the tibial plateau.


TPLO stands for tibial plateau leveling osteotomy and is a surgical procedure that makes a change to the biomechanics of the knee to reduce pain and instability.1 During surgery, a curved cut will be made nea

r the top of the tibia (shin bone). The top of the bone is then rotated to reduce the slope on the top of the tibia (this is where the “leveling” comes from). A stainless steel bone plate is held to the tibia with bone screws to secure the tibia in position while the bone heals.​


Expected results

After recovery from the TPLO procedure, it is expected that your dog’s lameness will be significantly improved with a high potential for normal weight bearing in addition, arthritis progression is slowed. This success has been based on the return of full flexion of the stifle, muscle mass and limb function and the lack of joint inflammation. Thus, family pets are able to participate in normal daily activities without restriction or residual lameness.

Why Synthes TPLO

Fixed-angle construct
The threads on the head of the locking screw mate with the threads in the plate hole to form a rigid, fixed-angle construct. Unlike traditional (nonlocking) fixation systems, the fixed-angle construct does not rely on friction between the plate and the bone to maintain its integrity. Less friction between the construct and the bone is intended to preserve blood supply and promote faster healing.

The plate is precontoured to the anatomy of the top of the tibia (shin bone) of the dog. This prevents any need to bend the plate, which could decrease operating time. The screws are angled away from the joint to ensure proper placement.

Implant-quality stainless steel
The plate is made from the same implant-quality stainless steel that is used for the production of human implants.

Manufactured with same quality as human implants
Modern manufacturing facilities and a dedicated work force contribute to the high quality reputation of Synthes implants. A well documented quality assurance program meets the Good Manufacturing Practice guidelines established by the implant regulatory agencies. The same controls for surface finish, dimensional tolerances, and overall workmanship for human implants are carefully controlled to provide the highest quality implants for veterinary applications.​​​​