Wednesday, October 19, 2005


I've gotten some questions as to why she was having surgery in the first place. Rather than link back to May when we went through this the first time, here's a brief overview as I understand it.

What she had was a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the stifle joint (canine for knee). If you're a dog, that's some painful stuff, and it's an invitation and wide open door to arthritis.

The problem is best resolved (according to her doctors and a heap of research I've done on my own) through a surgery called Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO). TPLO eliminates the need for the ligament. The surgery changes the anatomy of the knee joint by cutting the tibia and placing a plate inside to change the shape of the stifle, resulting in her knee returning to a movement that is more like the hinge that it is, rather than sliding back and forth like a drawer. It also eliminates friction on the ever so precious meniscus (cartilage), thereby retracting the invitation to, and shutting the door on, arthritis.

That concludes today's lesson.

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