Any surgical procedure may develop complications after surgery. These may include but are not limited to:
Postoperative swelling and bruising above that normally anticipated. With a TPLO it is common to have moderate swelling of the ankle (tarsal) joint for 5-7 days after surgery. This may be minimised through appropriate postoperative exercise management.
Damage or infection of the skin wound. This risk may be minimised through ensuring your dog does not lick the wound, ensuring a clean soft bed is available, and managing the dressing that will be over the wound when you collect your dog. ∙
Ongoing progression of OA in the joint. Generally all of the bone cutting (osteotomy) surgeries will have less progression of OA than other currently available techniques. Weight control, exercise management / physiotherapy, use of nutritional supplements (fish oils, 4cyte) and drugs (NSAIDs, Pentosan etc) may all help to manage or minimise progression of OA. Please discuss the relative benefits of these with your surgeon.
Bone infection (rare less than 1%). Careful management of the overlying skin wound will help to lower the risk. If at any point your dog seems significantly more off colour than previous days, or the limb appears to develop more redness, swelling or a discharge then you should immediately return to have your dog reassessed.
Breakage of the implants or bone(rare less than 1%). Provision of an appropriate environment after surgery is critical to protect the surgical site while the bones heal. This includes provision of a small controlled area with good nonslip flooring, and ensuring strict leash control when out walking.
Damage to the cartilage pad (meniscus): Up to 5- 10% of cases may develop a further injury to their meniscus despite surgery having been performed. They may develop a sudden lameness and a distinct clicking can often be heard during motion of the knee joint. A small number of these cases can be managed conservatively; however the majority will need follow up surgery which is comparatively minor compared to a TPLO.