The Effect of Stifle Angle on Stifle Kinematics following TPLO: An in vitro Experimental Analysis
Objective: To determine the ability of the Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) to restore normal joint kinematics in a cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL)-deficient stifle through a loaded range of motion.
Methods: Paired pelvic limbs from 12 dogs were compared in an in vitro biomechanical study. Each limb was placed in a custom designed jig at 120° of stifle extension under an axial load of 20% body weight. Electromagnetic motion tracking sensors were placed on the distal femur and proximal tibia. A force was applied at approximately 10 N/sec to mimic the action of the quadriceps muscle. Force application allowed the limb to move from 120° to maximal extension. Positional data was acquired at 60 points/second. Each limb was tested under normal, CrCL-deficient, and TPLO-treated conditions.
Results: The TPLO failed to normalize CTT within the CrCL-deficient stifle; however, values trended towards intact values throughout the range of motion. No significant differences were noted in internal rotation in any of the three conditions from 120° – 137°. Hyperextension values did not differ significantly between conditions.
Conclusion: Data from this biomechanical model suggests that the TPLO fails to neutralize CTT throughout a loaded range of motion. Internal rotation and hyperextension values were not found to differ significantly between intact, CrCL-deficient and TPLO repaired stifles. The effectiveness of the TPLO in restoring normal biomechanics is more significant at greater angles of flexion.