Background: The objective of this study was to evaluate tibial anatomical-mechanical axis angles (AMA-angles) and proximodistal and craniocaudal patellar positions following tibial plateau levelling osteotomy (TPLO) and AMA-based modified cranial closing wedge osteotomy (CCWO) in large dogs with tibial plateau angle (TPA) > 30°, to compare these postoperative positions with those of a control group of healthy normal dogs, and to assess which procedure yields postoperative morphology of the tibiae and stifles that is most consistent with that of the unaffected group. This study also investigated whether the occurrence of patellar ligament thickening (PLT), which is commonly observed 2 months postoperatively after TPLO, is associated with misplacement of the osteotomy. A total of 120 dogs weighing more than 20 kg, 40 of which were control animals, were enrolled in this retrospective study. Stifles were radiographically evaluated preoperatively and postoperatively on the side with CCLR and on the healthy contralateral side and compared with clinically normal stifles. PLT was reassessed after 2 months.
Results: Significant decreases in median patellar height ratio were found after both procedures (TPLO 0.24 (0.05-0.8); CCWO 0.22 (0.05-0.4)). The postoperative craniocaudal patellar position and the median AMA angle differed significantly among the groups (P = 0.000) (TPLO 87.5% caudal to the AA and 3.12° (0.76-6.98°); CCWO 100% cranial to the AA and 0° (- 1.34-0.65°); control group 5% caudal to the AA and 0.99° (0-3.39°)). At 8 weeks, PLT grade differed significantly in the two operated groups (P = 0.000) (TPLO 40% 0-2, 20% 2-4, 40% > 4; CCWO 98.8% 0).
Conclusions: TPLO and AMA-based CCWO are associated with significant decreases in patellar height; however, the PLT results 2 months postoperatively differed between the two groups; the decrease in patellar height and PLT were independent of osteotomy position in the TPLO group. Compared to TPLO, CCWO results in reduced postoperative AMA angles and craniocaudal patellar positions that more closely resemble those of unaffected dogs, suggesting that the CCWO procedure allows us to better correct the caudal bowing of the proximal tibia that is often associated with deficient stifles in large dogs with TPA > 30°.