Use of a jumbo plate in dogs greater than 50 kg following TPLO does not prevent increase in tibial plateau angle through convalescence

Mathew R A MacCormick, Robert M Daye
J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2023 Sep 12;261(12):1-8. doi: 10.2460/javma.23.07.0379.

Objective: To investigate the use of a locking 3.5/4.0-mm jumbo tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) plate in maintaining the postoperative tibial plateau angle (TPA) in giant-breed dogs weighing > 50 kg and to report the associated complications.

Animals: Canine patients weighing > 50 kg that underwent TPLO stabilized with a locking 3.5/4.0-mm jumbo TPLO plate between January 2017 and May 2022.

Methods: Retrospective case series retrieving postoperative outcomes from the medical records. Healing scores and TPAs were calculated using postoperative and recheck radiographs. Owner-perceived outcomes were obtained via questionnaire.

Results: 24 stifles in 22 dogs were included. Postoperative complications were recorded in 11 of 24 cases (45.8%) inclusive of 1 minor, 1 catastrophic, and 9 major complications. A statistically significant increase in TPA over the convalescent period was found. Grade 4 healing was present in 18 of 24 (75%) stifles, while the remainder were scored as grade 3.

Clinical relevance: The use of a locking 3.5/4.0-mm jumbo TPLO plate did not prevent a statistically significant increase in TPA through convalescence. This procedure displayed an unacceptably high complication rate when compared with contemporary literature of TPLO. Despite a high complication rate in this patient population, most complications were successfully managed with medical and/or surgical treatment, and high mean and median healing scores were achieved at the radiographic recheck. Additionally, owner-perceived long-term outcomes were excellent.