TPLO and TTA: Options for Canine Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Injuries

dog wearing ligatek brace outdoors, close up detail of brace

What Options Do I Have To Treat My Pet With a CCL Injury?

Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) surgeries are the most common orthopedic surgery in canines with over one million surgeries being completed each year.

What are some of my options? What is the difference between TPLO and TTA?

Bracing Devices - Bracing is an alternative option for patients that can't tolerate a surgical procedure, or a similar outcome is expected even when surgery is performed. This might be due to age, weight, disease, expenses, etc. Braces might even be used during a period of time when owners might be saving up funds to have a surgical procedure performed or for a date when the surgical procedure is able to take place. Regardless of the reasoning, bracing devices, such as knee braces, are a great way to help support a CCL injury when surgery isn’t always an option.

Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) Surgery – A TPLO is the most expensive surgical option and is designed to eliminate the need for a CCL. It restores mobility by placing a metal plate (or implant) after the tibia has been cut and rotated.

Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA) Surgery – The TTA restores mobility by cutting the top of the tibia and moving it forward, changing the actual shape of the knee. Implants are then placed to stabilize the bone in its new position.  

The main differences between a TPLO and TTA is the location of where the cuts are made and what material is used for the implants. While the TPLO uses steel implants, the TTA uses titanium.

Although the TPLO is known as the most invasive procedure (and the longest recovery time), it usually allows the dog (especially larger breed dogs) to make a full recovery and resume their normal activities. The TTA is known for being a little less invasive and offers a quicker recovery time.

Bracing Devices Post-Surgical Procedure

Bracing Devices may also be helpful during recovery and rehabilitation. The Balto Ligatek allows you to adjust the range of motion (ROM) of your pet's knee. ROM refers to how far they can move or stretch a part of their body, such as a joint, ligament, or muscle. This allows a gradual return to movement after an injury or surgical procedure has occurred, or full immobilization if necessary. Getting back your pet's ROM is a key factor to a full recovery.