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.