Preoperative low level laser therapy in dogs undergoing tibial plateau levelling osteotomy: A blinded, prospective, randomized clinical trial

Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2017 Jan 16;30(1):46-53. doi: 10.3415/VCOT-15-12-0198. Epub 2016 Dec 9.


Objectives: To evaluate the influence of preoperative low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on therapeutic outcomes of dogs undergoing tibial plateau levelling osteotomy (TPLO).

Methods: Healthy dogs undergoing TPLO were randomly assigned to receive either a single preoperative LLLT treatment (800-900 nm dual wavelength, 6 W, 3.5 J/cm2, 100 cm2 area) or a sham treatment. Lameness assessment and response to manipulation, as well as force plate analysis, were performed preoperatively, then again at 24 hours, two weeks, and eight weeks postoperatively. Radiographic signs of healing of the osteo-tomy were assessed at eight weeks postoperatively.

Results: Twenty-seven dogs (27 stifles) were included and no major complications occurred. At eight weeks postoperatively, a significant difference in peak vertical force analysis was noted between the LLLT (39.6% ± 4.7%) and sham groups (28.9% ± 2.6%), (p <0.01 Time, p <0.01 L). There were no significant differences noted between groups for all other parameters. The age of dogs in the LLLT group (6.6 ± 1.6 years) was greater than that for the sham group (4.5 ± 2.0, p <0.01). Although not significant, a greater proportion of LLLT dogs (5/8) had healed at the eight-week time point than in the sham group (3/12) despite the age difference (p = 0.11) Clinical significance: The results of this study demonstrate that improved peak vertical force could be related to the preoperative use of LLLT for dogs undergoing TPLO at eight weeks postoperatively. The use of LLLT may improve postoperative return to function following canine osteotomies and its use is recommended.

Keywords: Low level laser therapy; cranial cruciate ligament disease; dog; peak vertical force; tibial plateau levelling osteotomy.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries / radiotherapy
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries / surgery
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries / veterinary*
  • Dog Diseases / surgery*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Osteotomy / veterinary*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Stifle / surgery*
  • Tibia / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome