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Objective— To evaluate the influence of a tibial plateau leveling jig on osteotomy orientation, fragment reduction, and postoperative tibial plateau angle (TPA) during tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO).

Study Design— In vitro experimental study.

Animals— Large-breed canine cadavers (n=20).

Methods— TPLO was performed on 40 hindlimbs using 4 methods. Group 1: Jig; dogs in dorsal recumbency with the osteotomy parallel to the distal jig pin. Groups 2–4: No jig; dogs in lateral recumbency with the osteotomy in a vertical orientation (group 2: tibia parallel to the table top; group 3: controlled superimposition of the femoral condyles; group 4: internal rotation of the tibia). Postoperative TPA, fragment reduction, and osteotomy orientation relative to the tibial plateau were compared. Positive or negative values denoted deviation from parallel relative to the tibial plateau.

Results— Postoperative TPA, fragment reduction, and proximodistal osteotomy orientation were not significantly different between groups. Craniocaudal osteotomy orientation was significantly different (P<.005) from the tibial plateau. Median deviations were −4.0° (group 1), 11.8° (group 2), 11.2° (group 3), and 0.2° (group 4). Group 1 was not significantly different from group 4.

Conclusions— A jig is not essential for osteotomy orientation, tibial plateau rotation, or fragment reduction. Comparable results were achieved performing a vertical osteotomy with the tibia slightly internally rotated (10°–15°) and parallel to the table surface.

Clinical Relevance— TPLO without use of a jig reduces surgical trauma, is less time consuming, and reduces cost.