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Shock Wave and Accelerated Bone Healing


Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) disease is one of the most common causes of hind limb lameness in dogs, causing discomfort and decreasing mobility.  Tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) is a surgical treatment option that alters the mechanical forces in the dog’s stifle.  This procedure requires cutting, repositioning, and reattaching the top part of the tibia bone.

While TPLO procedures are very common and complete healing is likely, many veterinarians recommend a supplemental noninvasive treatment to increase the speed and quality of your dog’s healing for the following reasons:

  • Not all dogs heal the same (some take longer due to age, weight, activity level, etc.)
  • Post-surgical ligament inflammation is a common side effect as the patient adjusts to new biomechanical forces in the joint. This is especially true in dogs already living with osteoarthritis (degenerative changes in the joint).
  • Faster healing can give the patient a head start on rehabilitation. Successful bone healing and increased weight-bearing is a great way to ensure successful long term outcomes).
  • Research demonstrates that faster bone healing leads to a more rapid return to normal healthy activity (less crate time, less direct supervision of activity) and a decreased likelihood of harder to treat complications.


Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) can be used post surgically or as part of a rehab program to speed to healing process, improve the quality of the healed joint, and reduce post-operative pain following TPLO.  High energy shock wave therapy has been clinically proven to accelerate bone healing in dogs following TPLO in a blinded study at Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, one of the nation’s top vet schools.

To read more on the Colorado State University bone healing study, click here and visit our vet locator to find the closest VersaTron user in your area!