TPLO Week One


So, the first two weeks of TPLO recovery are pretty boring in the scheme of rehab.  Not a lot to be done just yet.  Ticket is doing well, except that she is definitely more of a handful then she was the first time.  She’s already grabbing her leash to tug, bringing me her toy in the xpen, etc.  It’s going to be a long 8 weeks.  But she’s using the leg well, no more of the post-op swelling, and she’s about as relaxed and happy as she can be.

Here’s the lowdown of what we’ve been doing.  While it’s not as exciting as cavaletti or underwater treadmill, it may be the most important part of rehab.  It’s much easier to do everything you can to maintain range of motion then to try to get it back once you’ve lost it.  The ice also helps a lot with the inflammation in the joint.

Passive range of motion exercises involve laying your dog down, and moving the joint through it’s normal range of motion.  You want to support the leg, and not force the motion too far, or to the point where your dog is uncomfortable.  I’ve been doing about 15 reps three times daily, followed by ice.  5 days post-op, I started using a warm wash cloth to help warm the joint before the exercise.  It is important to not start heat right after surgery, as heat can make the post-op inflammation worse.  I also always do these exercises after taking Ticket outside for her 5 minute potty break, so the joint is as warm/loose as possible.

Warming the leg before exercise

Flexing the knee

Extending the knee

Icing the knee afterwords

I prefer flexible therapy gel ice packs–easier to mold to funny-shaped joints. Make sure you keep something between the ice and the skin so it’s not too uncomfortable for your dog.

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