Animal Health Center

Phone: (307) 745-6381

4619 E Bobolink Ln, Laramie, WY 82070

Business Hours

Mon - Fri: 7:30am - 5:30pm
Sat: 9:00am - 12:00pm
Sun: Closed

Guide to CCL tears and TPLO Surgery

You may be familiar with an ACL tear in humans. Similarly, the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in pets can tear after a sudden trauma or as a result of slow degeneration that has taken place over months or years. CCL tears are one of the most common hind limb injuries for dogs.

The CCL cannot heal on its own once it begins to tear. Surgery is the only option to permanently “fix” the instability and relieve pain caused by the full or partial rupture.

Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) is one of the most widely used procedures in repairing CCL tears in dogs (and sometimes cats.) In most cases, TPLO is considered superior to other surgical repair options. Surgery can help to stabilize the joint, relieve pain, help avoid irreversible joint damage and osteoarthritis, and allow your pet to live a more normal, active life.


Symptoms of a torn CCL include a decrease in activity level, limping/lameness, difficulty rising or jumping, pain and stiffness in the affected leg, decreased range of motion, and muscle atrophy.

Diagnosis relies on an examination, X-rays, and palpation/manipulation of the joint. This manipulation measures the level of instability that is present in the joint and sometimes requires sedation depending on the pain and stress level of the pet.

TPLO Procedure

Before Procedure

After Procedure

The procedure requires general anesthesia and painkillers and antibiotics will be administered to your pet intraoperatively. The TPLO procedure consists of cutting the top of the tibia (bone below the knee), rotating it, and stabilizing it in a new position with a specially designed bone plate and screws. These changes affect the dynamic movement between the bones of the knee and counter the loss of the CCL. The procedure has been proven to have positive outcomes even in large, athletic dogs and dogs that undergo TPLO are highly likely to be capable of a full and active life.

Post-Operative Recovery

The TPLO procedure is an extensive orthopedic surgery and you can anticipate that your pet will need rest and exercise restrictions for 8-12 weeks. This allows the incision and bone to heal and to regain knee function.

A pain free quality of life with great mobility is what we all want for our four legged family members. Dr. Sanders has been routinely performing TPLO procedures here at Animal Health Center for over 5 years, providing the ease of a local option for this and other orthopedic surgeries. We are happy to answer all of your questions about CCL surgery. Please call us at 307-745-6381 for more information!”

We would also like the attached images to be included in this section, near the description of the procedure, labeled as before surgery and after surgery


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