I waited to schedule surgery until the week of Christmas so i could be home for a few weeks (vacation time). This coming Monday will be 3 weeks after surgery. We went with TTA on both knees. Nelle walked out of the hospital on her own Christmas Day just 3 days after surgery. At 3 weeks i can barely keep her contained. A friend of mine has a 75 pounds mix breed that looks like pit and rottweiler and or doberman. They went with TPLO on one leg at a time. His dog needed help getting up for the first 3 weeks but shes moving around fine now. Our surgeon said that she started doing TTA's ONLY after a year or data collection on TPLO and TTA success rates vs recovery time. Success rates were in line with one another but TTA recovery was much much faster. Cost is similar also so she started directing clients towards TTA. Side Note:
We made a big mistake by going to see her after surgery. We really wanted to make sure she was okay and let her know we didn't abandon her. When we got there she was very calm, hanging out, enjoying her meds. As soon as she sees us she starts heading towards the door moaning and whimpering to leave with us. It was horrible to see her so bruised and stitched and have her whine like that for the whole hour we visited with her. We should have left her alone until we were ready to pick her up two days later. When we did pick her up she was perfectly fine and happy and no crying. Surgery sucks but after they get into the recovery routine and going to visit them just makes it worse for them (my opinion) so i wont be making that mistake again.
Nelle's legs were swollen and bruised from toe to hip but she could still get up and walk on them. We had her in a safety harness for 2 weeks so that i could raise and lower her off the deck and into her bed etc. I leave it off her now. All swelling and bruising was gone in a week. Stitches came out and the surgeon says she looks great.
I almost have to cage her because of her energy level. She slipped out of my hand one day in the back yard and proceeded to jump a foot in the air a dozen times bouncing in the snow. By the end of week 1 she was done with the baby gates and bed rest and wanted to come upstairs to bed but i keep her in the family room with me on the sofa. Doc says to keep her from climbing running jumping playing for 8 weeks total (5 to go) but she has already broken all these rules and i don't know if i can keep her out of trouble
. Seriously though shes been a good sport with all the new rules. Better to have her upset about being on lock down than in pain because she didn't let her legs heal correctly.
I really liked the surgeon before the operation and i like her even more now. She was very matter of fact telling us how Nelle would experience arthritis in the future with or without the surgery. After surgery she told us that one leg was much worse than they thought and that its likely she was hurting for a year or more (she just turned 2). "Bone on bone" for one knee. So the ACL was torn and the meniscus was gone. In 5 weeks we go back for xrays and the (hopefully) final visit.
I noticed an improvement immediately with Nelle after surgery. At first it was hard to tell if the surgery had helped or if it was the pain meds making it easier for her to walk. Before surgery Nelle would rarely spend more than a minute standing before dropping to a seated position. The only time she does that now is when shes getting ready to lay down. No limping, no holding a leg up. If not for her shaved butt and legs and her new leg zippers (stitches) you wouldn't be able to tell she had surgery or any sort of medical issue at all. Keeping my fingers crossed. I don't expect her to win races but hopefully she can enjoy life again. Surgery was expensive. $6200. We had help from my boss. He paid for everything. Forever grateful. We warned her..."if you blow out your knee again we are getting you wheels"