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After Cruciate Ligament Knee Surgery (TPLO) - What Is the Recovery Time?

After Cruciate Ligament Knee Surgery (TPLO) - What Is the Recovery Time?

The recovery time from cruciate knee surgery is generally several weeks to several months however it will vary from dog to dog.

Each individual case will differ in terms of how long it takes a dog to recover fully from a cruciate ligament injury - it depends on the severity of the injury, amount of muscle wasting pre-surgery, general fitness of the dog, how overweight they are, any other co-existing conditions your dog has, as well as many other factors.

Post-surgery care is critical for the success outcome from cruciate ligament surgery. So, take the time in the following months to do all you can for your dog. 

This can include:

  • Rest - The first step post-cruciate surgery is to rest and strictly limit activity. Do not let your dog jump up on the sofa, go up or down stairs, jump into the car etc. Exercise should be controlled, no running at speed or doing sudden turns, so playing ‘fetch’ with your dog is likely to derail their recovery
  • Physiotherapy - Book an appointment with a physiotherapist, they will formulate an specific care plan for your individual dog. Physiotherapy can help your dog reduce pain and increase flexibility and muscle movement. The physio will give you exercises to carry out at home as well
  • Hydrotherapy - Hydrotherapy can relieve pain and inflammation. Exercising in water is weightless, meaning that your dog is able to increase their exercise without putting strain on their joints. Hydrotherapy increases range of movement in the joint, muscle bulk and tone which strengthens joint support
  • Laser - Often administered by a physiotherapist or vet, laser therapy is an innovative treatment that has gained popularity recently as vets and owners discover its benefits for dogs’ post-surgery. It helps reduce pain, inflammation and promotes wound healing.
  • Other alternative therapies which some owners find helpful for their dogs can include acupuncture, massage therapy and hot and cold therapy
  • Get a knee brace - This will support the knee, reduce the chance of further injury and increase the healing process. You can find dog knee braces here
  • An orthopaedic bed - This will help in your dog’s recovery. Orthopaedic beds work by distributing your dog’s weight evenly, which reduces the pressure being put on their joints. Arthritis goes hand in hand with a cruciate ligament injury and orthopaedic beds are really helpful at alleviating joint stiffness in arthritic dog also. You can find a supportive orthopaedic dog bed here 
  • Ramps and rubber mats around the house - Think about putting some ramps and mats around the house to give your dog the maximum about of grip and traction on the floors, especially if they are tile or hardwood. Alternatively, you could purchase some anti-slip socks or dog boots here 
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