Effects of low-level laser therapy on bone healing and signs of pain in dogs following tibial plateau leveling osteotomy

Am J Vet Res. 2018 Aug;79(8):893-904. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.79.8.893.


OBJECTIVE To assess the effect of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on markers of synovial inflammation and signs of pain, function, bone healing, and osteoarthritis following tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) in dogs with spontaneous cranial cruciate ligament rupture (CCLR). ANIMALS 12 client-owned dogs with unilateral CCLR. PROCEDURES All dogs were instrumented with an accelerometer for 2 weeks before and 8 weeks after TPLO. Dogs were randomly assigned to receive LLLT (radiant exposure, 1.5 to 2.25 J/cm2; n = 6) or a control (red light; 6) treatment immediately before and at predetermined times for 8 weeks after TPLO. Owners completed a Canine Brief Pain Inventory weekly for 8 weeks after surgery. Each dog underwent a recheck appointment, which included physical and orthopedic examinations, force plate analysis, radiography and synoviocentesis of the affected joint, and evaluation of lameness and signs of pain, at 2, 4, and 8 weeks after surgery. Select markers of inflammation were quantified in synovial fluid samples. Variables were compared between the 2 groups. RESULTS For the control group, mean ground reaction forces were greater at 2 and 4 weeks after TPLO and owner-assigned pain scores were lower during weeks 1 through 5 after TPLO, compared with corresponding values for the LLLT group. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that the LLLT protocol used had no beneficial effects on signs of pain or pelvic limb function following TPLO. Further research is necessary to evaluate the effects of LLLT and to determine the optimum LLLT protocol for dogs with CCLR.

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Animals
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries / veterinary*
  • Bone Plates
  • Dog Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Inflammation
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Osteoarthritis / veterinary
  • Osteotomy / veterinary*
  • Pain / veterinary*
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Radiography
  • Rupture
  • Stifle / surgery
  • Synovial Fluid
  • Tibia / surgery
  • Time Factors