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Canine stifle joint biomechanics associated with tibial plateau leveling osteotomy predicted by use of a computer model

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  • 1 Department of Bioengineering, J.B. Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202
  • | 2 Department of Bioengineering, J.B. Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate effects of tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) on canine stifle joint biomechanics in a cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL)–deficient stifle joint by use of a 3-D computer model simulating the stance phase of gait and to compare biomechanics in TPLO-managed, CrCL-intact, and CrCL-deficient stifle joints.

Sample—Computer simulations of the pelvic limb of a Golden Retriever.

Procedures—A previously developed computer model of the canine pelvic limb was used to simulate TPLO stabilization to achieve a tibial plateau angle (TPA) of 5° (baseline value) in a CrCL-deficient stifle joint. Sensitivity analysis was conducted for tibial fragment rotation of 13° to −3°. Ligament loads, relative tibial translation, and relative tibial rotation were determined and compared with values for CrCL-intact and CrCL-deficient stifle joints.

Results—TPLO with a 5° TPA converted cranial tibial translation to caudal tibial translation and increased loads placed on the remaining stifle joint ligaments, compared with results for a CrCL-intact stifle joint. Lateral collateral ligament load was similar, medial collateral ligament load increased, and caudal cruciate ligament load decreased after TPLO, compared with loads for a CrCL-deficient stifle joint. Relative tibial rotation after TPLO was similar to that of a CrCL-deficient stifle joint. Stifle joint biomechanics were affected by TPLO fragment rotation.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In the model, stifle joint biomechanics were partially improved after TPLO, compared with CrCL-deficient stifle joint biomechanics, but TPLO did not fully restore CrCL-intact stifle joint biomechanics. Overrotation of the tibial fragment negatively influenced stifle joint biomechanics by increasing caudal tibial translation.

Contributor Notes

This manuscript represents a portion of a dissertation submitted by Dr. Brown to the University of Louisville Department of Mechanical Engineering as partial fulfillment of the requirements for a PhD degree.

Supported by the AKC Canine Health Foundation (grant No. 01782; primary investigator: Bertocci) and by the University of Louisville Grosscurth Biomechanics Endowment. The contents of this report are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the AKC Canine Health Foundation.

Address correspondence to Dr. Bertocci (g.bertocci@louisville.edu).