Objective: To identify complications associated with tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) for treatment of cranial cruciate ligament rupture in dogs and assess owner perceptions of outcome.
Design: Retrospective study.
Animals: 193 dogs that underwent unilateral or bilateral TPLO (253 TPLOs total) between November 1997 and March 2001.
Procedure: Complications associated with the surgical procedure were recorded. A questionnaire was sent to owners of all dogs to assess their perceptions of outcome.
Results: Complications were identified in 47 of the 193 (24.4%) dogs and in association with 52 of the 253 (20.6%) TPLOs. Dogs that underwent bilateral TPLOs during a single anesthetic episode had a higher complication rate than did dogs that underwent unilateral TPLO and dogs that underwent bilateral TPLOs during separate anesthetic episodes. Body weight, surgery time, whether a meniscal release or meniscectomy was performed, and extent of cruciate ligament damage were not associated with whether complications occurred. One hundred forty-one of 151 (93%) owners who responded to the questionnaire were satisfied with the outcome of the surgery. Assessments of outcome were not significantly different between owners of dogs that had complications and owners of dogs that did not.
Conclusions and clinical relevance: Results indicated that complications developed in approximately 25% of dogs undergoing TPLO for treatment of a cranial cruciate ligament injury but that most complications responded to appropriate treatment, and development of complications did not affect owner assessments of outcome. There was a higher incidence of complications when bilateral TPLOs were performed during a single anesthetic episode.