Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) Homecare Instructions
For 8-12 weeks the patient will need to have their activity restricted. This means that he/she should only be taken out for short, controlled leash walks for about 5-10 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day. We will gradually increase her/his activity after each two week recheck exam if all is going well.
He/She may need sling support during these walks, especially crossing slippery surfaces and stairs. The sling is intended to be a safety net in case she/he slips or falls. You should not be carrying him/her with the sling.
She/he should not be allowed to run, jump, or play with other animals during this time. He/She should also be confined to a crate or small room (6'x6') when unsupervised and should not be allowed access to areas with slick floors or stairs. She/He should not be allowed to return to normal activity until they are given the OK by the doctor.
During confinement, his/her food intake will need to be reduced by at least 10% to help prevent weight gain. Most dogs will maintain their current weight if their food intake is reduced during the recovery time. We can judge this based on their weight at recheck exams. Water consumption should remain normal.
One of the most difficult aspects of confinement is that she/he will frequently feel better long before he/she has healed. At this point she/he will start being more careless of the operated limb and will then be more likely to be overactive and injure themselves. Until the bone is healed, you must adhere strictly to the confinement guidelines and not allow him/her to do more.
Please monitor the incision twice daily over the next 10 to 14 days for the following:
Bleeding: A few drops of dried blood is typical after surgery. However, if there is continuous bleeding from the incision, this is not normal and you should contact our office ASAP.
Swelling/Redness: Swelling and minor redness or bruising is typical after surgery. However, it should not get worse more than 3 days after being released from the hospital or spread significantly beyond the surgical site.
Discharge: If you notice any abnormal or discolored discharge coming from the incision site, please contact us immediately.
Dehiscence: This is when the edges of the incision begin to separate. If you notice the incision beginning to open up, contact our office immediately.
Pain: Minor discomfort is normal after surgery. However, you should be able to gently touch the area around the incision without a reaction. If it seems painful, she/he may not be getting enough analgesics or this could be a sign of infection if excess swelling and redness are also present.
Please see separate instructions . He/She should be wearing this collar at ALL times if she/he is wearing one at the time of release from our hospital. This will prevent him/her from licking, chewing, or scratching at the incision site. If you notice that she/he will not eat or drink with the collar on, you may remove it during eating and drinking times as long as he/she is supervised. The collar should be replaced immediately after.
For the first 5 days after surgery, cold compresses (ice packs) should be applied to the surgical area 3 to 4 times daily for 5-10 minutes to help reduce swelling and make her/him more comfortable. Using a bag of frozen peas (or similar cold pack) wrapped in a thin, clean, and dry towel works well when applied over the surgical area. Some patients do not tolerate this well. If you are having a lot of difficulty while trying to apply ice packs, stop and give us a call.
Please see separate instructions. We began this therapy today and will instruct you on what to continue at home.
Please check out the video “ESO TPLO rehab” on YouTube.
If at any time during his/her recovery and healing she/he does anything that causes him/her to cry out or give a sharp yelp, contact Edinger Surgical Options. If she/he has a setback or decrease in function, contact Edinger Surgical Options.
It is imperative that you inform us at once if he/she does something that is potentially harmful to the surgery. If something has occurred which jeopardizes the outcome of the surgery, it is usually less difficult to correct if caught right away, which leads to a better outcome for her/him.
If there are any signs of general illness including vomiting, depression, fever, refusal to eat, or if any questions or concerns arise, please do not hesitate to call our office.
He/She will be sent home with tramadol, an oral analgesic.
Her/his prognosis for a return to normal function is good. The knee is now stable and he/she should gradually begin using the limb over the next 3-5 days. During the second month of healing, leg use will continue to improve and muscles will strengthen.
It is very important that she/he be adequately confined and restricted to allow healing of the operated joint. Excessive activity may result in failure of the stabilization and possibly result in the need for additional surgery.
Please schedule the first recheck exam for 10-14 days post-op. Additionally schedule recheck exams at 4 weeks (brief), at 6 weeks (sedation and radiographs) and at 4 months. We also recommend that you return annually from the date of surgery for a stifle exam and radiographs.
There will be additional charges for all future radiographs along with sedation if necessary.
The staff at Edinger Surgical Options appreciated the opportunity to assist you and your family veterinarian with your companion's health care needs. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time.