Objective—To identify surgical and postoperative
complications of tibial plateau leveling osteotomy
(TPLO) in dogs with rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament
(CCL) and compare their incidence with those
reported in the literature for other commonly performed
CCL stabilization procedures.
Animals—346 dogs undergoing 397 TPLO procedures.
Procedure—Medical records of dogs undergoing 563
consecutive TPLO procedures were reviewed.
Complications were recorded and assigned to groups
on the basis of the period during which the complication
Results—397 TPLOs met the criteria for inclusion in
the study. Complications (n = 136) were recorded in
113 of the 397 (28%) procedures. Multiple complications
developed in 10 dogs. In 19 dogs, a second
surgery was performed to manage complications.
Development of a complication after surgery was
not associated with age or body weight of the dog,
tibial plateau angle prior to stifle joint surgery, or
experience of the surgeon. Factors significantly
associated with complications were breed and performance
of an arthrotomy concomitantly with
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—TPLO was
associated with development of numerous complications,
some of which required surgical correction.
Most complications resolved with nonsurgical treatment.
Several complications were unique to the
TPLO procedure because of the surgical technique
and implants required. Although TPLO was associated
with a greater number of complications than other
CCL stabilization methods, the incidence of major
complications was similar. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:184–193)