Geometric modelling of error sources for tibial plateau levelling osteotomy in the dog

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Tibial plateau levelling osteotomy is widely performed for stabilization of cranial cruciate ligament deficient stifles in dogs. A wide range of postoperative tibial plateau angles around the target angle has been reported. The main aim of this study was to investigate if osteotomy placement could explain this range. Landmarks were derived from 50 tibial radiographs by five observers and used to define osteotomy placement and correction angles for simulation. Observer-specific osteotomy locations with mean landmark data were used to simulate planning errors, and simulated malpositioning of the osteotomy at 5 mm and 10 mm from the ideal location was used to simulate surgical errors. The tibial plateau midpoint was used as the ideal centre of the osteotomy in this model. Planning errors mostly arose from tibial plateau misidentification, with osteotomy centre locations dispersed up to 2.4% of tibial length from ideal. Malpositioning of the osteotomy resulted in variable changes in tibial plateau angle. Synthesis with historical data suggested such changes are likely limited in magnitude in tibiae with a mechanical axis length over 140 mm, but will be greater in smaller dogs and with steeper tibial plateaus. In medium to large breed dogs, our findings indicate osteotomy inaccuracy alone cannot explain the reported postoperative ranges in tibial plateau angles. Other error sources such as rotational inaccuracies or shifts during implant placement may be more significant. Surgeons should exercise additional caution when operating small and miniature breeds due to the much larger potential for clinically significant errors in these smaller dogs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch in Veterinary Science
Pages (from-to)229-237
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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