TPLO Day 1

Clearly unable to relax

Here’s a break in election coverage for you… Ticket had TPLO surgery on her RIGHT stifle yesterday, and was able to come home today. Surgery went well, however, her cruciate injury was atypical. Usually when a dog injures their cruciate ligament, it’s the medial aspect of the knee that’s affected, and that was the case with her left stifle last year. This time, the medial aspect of Ticket’s knee looked perfect–all the damage was on the lateral side. Her lateral meniscus was damaged, and there was a lot of cartilage damage on that side. What that may mean for her career long-term remains to be seen. I can’t find a lot of information out there about dogs with damage to their lateral meniscus. Only time will tell, I guess. In the meantime, we proceed with rehab and recovery just like any other CCL injury.

I was very sad when I saw Ticket yesterday about an hour post-op. She was on a CRI (continuous rate infusion) of Fentanyl, and she stood to see me, but was very out of it, and obviously painful, holding her leg up. I didn’t see her this soon after her first surgery, and it threw me for a bit of a loop. I started to think about all the horrible things that could happen, etc. So I was very relieved when I went to pick her up today, and she drug the technician down the hall, was using her leg, and was her normal, happy, wiggly self. THAT’S my girl. She settled into her xpen quickly–she’s not *quite* herself, which I attribute to the pain I’m sure she’s in despite her medications. She was happy to chill out most of the afternoon–her favorite pose involves her sprawled on her back with her feet in the air. Crazy pup.

Physical therapy right now is pretty simple. Gentle passive range of motion (pROM) of the knee, hip, and hock, about 10-15 reps, 3 times a day. Followed by an ice pack for 15 minutes. She gets a 5 minute “walk” three to four times daily, which basically is just a trip outside to potty. If I keep her at a walk, she uses the leg, otherwise she will carry it when moving faster. I’m doing laser therapy on her daily for the first 3 days, then will go to twice weekly. I’m also planning on starting to acupuncture some points starting tomorrow if she will tolerate it. Her leg looks pretty good right now. She obviously has some swelling around her knee, and a little bit of edema and bruising around her hock. Not too much to see otherwise.

So far, so good. Pretty much “as-expected” this soon after surgery. She will start more organized physical therapy in 2 weeks.


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