Running after Cruciate Repair SurgeryBy
My name is Jon and I have a beautiful Black Lab named Lars who back in July of 2011, underwent a TPLO on his rear left leg. TPLO stands for tibia plateau leveling osteotomy, and is the newest surgery to be developed for dogs who present with a torn cruciate ligament. Lars tore his cruciate when sprinting around our dog park in January of 2011, but unfortunately for him, and myself it took more than five months before he was properly diagnosed.
Once diagnosed, Lars, or Bar as I affectionately call him was booked for surgery and things began moving very quickly! Even after he tore his cruciate, Lars, who loves to run would run like there was nothing wrong, only to be hobbling around for the next day or two on his sore leg. My main concern with him being such a young dog was that he would be crippled for life, even after the surgery but the surgeon told me that a TPLO, would offer him the best chance of a full recovery and I jumped at the opportunity!
I am not going to sugar coat the recovery process. It is long, stressful and does have its fair share of hick-ups. Lars’ recovery got off to a great start, but his 12 week x-ray showed a small regression. Compared to other TPLO stories I researched online however, Lars had it easy and now that he is almost a year post-op, he is doing great and is probably as good as he is going to get. His leg lacks the muscle tone that his other rear leg has, and he pronates a little bit because of the adjusted angle that the femur and tibia connect, but aside from that, he is back to being a little jitter bug! He is back running a few days a week, and he would be running more if it was not for my extreme nervousness when it comes to letting him be more active. I am very protective of him, similarily to an overprotective parent if you will and I can just imagine what he would say to me if he could.
For anybody with a young dog who has the unfortunate luck to end up in the situation we did, I highly recommend the TPLO! It definitely is the most invasive of the surgical options, but it also has the best prognosis for recovery and the return to full, or near full activity.