Risk Factors for Tibial Tuberosity Fracture After Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy in Dogs

Authors

  • MARY SARAH BERGH DVM,

    1. Departments of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
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  • PÄIVI RAJALA-SCHULTZ DVM, PhD,

    1. Departments of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
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  • KENNETH A. JOHNSON MVSc, PhD, Diplomate ACVS & ECVS

    1. Departments of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
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  • Presented at the 2007 ACVS Veterinary Symposium in Chicago, IL, October 18–21, 2007.

Address reprint requests to Dr. Mary Sarah Bergh, DVM, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, 601 Vernon L. Tharp Street, Columbus, OH, 43210-1089. E-mail: msbergh@yahoo.com

Abstract

Objective— To evaluate factors that predispose to tibial tuberosity (TT) fracture after tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) in dogs.

Study Design— Retrospective study.

Animals— Dogs (n=182) with cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) rupture undergoing 213 TPLO surgeries.

Methods— Medical records and radiographs of 2 groups of dogs that had TPLO surgery (2000–2001, 2004–2005) were evaluated to determine the effect of operative technique and surgeon experience on TT fracture.

Results— TT fracture was diagnosed in 8 dogs (9 TPLO, 4.2% of surgical procedures). Four fractures occurred after unilateral TPLO in 167 dogs (2.4%), 4 fractures occurred after simultaneous bilateral TPLO in 5 dogs (40%), and 1 fracture occurred after staged bilateral TPLO in 36 dogs (2.8%). Simultaneous bilateral TPLO resulted in a 12.4 times higher odds of TT fracture versus unilateral TPLO (P=.046). The mean absolute thickness of the TT after TPLO was less in dogs sustaining TT fractures (7.2 ± 2.2 mm) than those that did not (10.8 ± 2.7 mm, P<.0001). The odds of fracture decreased by 37% when the absolute TT width postosteotomy increased by 1 mm (P<.0001). An increase in tibial plateau angle at follow-up versus immediately postoperative was associated with TT fracture (P=.025). Surgeon experience was not associated with TT fracture.

Conclusion— A combination of surgical decision-making and surgical technique play a role in the occurrence of TT fracture after TPLO. Simultaneous bilateral TPLO was associated with a high percentage of TT fracture.

Clinical Relevance— Careful planning of osteotomy positioning is advised while performing TPLO surgery.

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