Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 2017; 30(01): 46-53
DOI: 10.3415/VCOT-15-12-0198
Original Research
Schattauer GmbH

Preoperative low level laser therapy in dogs undergoing tibial plateau levelling osteotomy: A blinded, prospective, randomized clinical trial

Cleo P. Rogatko
1   Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University Corvallis, Oregon, USA
3   Current: The Animal Medical Center, Department of Interventional Radiology/Endoscopy, New York, NY, USA
Wendy I. Baltzer
1   Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Rachel Tennant
2   USDA-FSIS-OFO-Denver District, Supervisory Public Heath Veterinarian, Circuit 1504, c/o Est. 9230, Dayton, Oregon, USA
› Author Affiliations
This research was supported by a gift of the laser unit from the K-Laser Corp. The funders had no role in study design, data collectionand analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Further Information

Publication History

Received: 14 December 2015

Accepted: 19 October 2016

Publication Date:
26 December 2017 (online)


Objective: To evaluate the influence of pre-operative low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on therapeutic outcomes of dogs undergoing tibial plateau levelling osteotomy (TPLO).

Methods: Healthy dogs undergoing TPLO were randomly assigned to receive either a single preoperative LLLT treatment (800–900 nm dual wavelength, 6 W, 3.5 J/cm2, 100 cm2 area) or a sham treatment. Lameness assessment and response to manipulation, as well as force plate analysis, were performed pre-operatively, then again at 24 hours, two weeks, and eight weeks postoperatively. Radiographic signs of healing of the osteotomy were assessed at eight weeks postoperatively.

Results: Twenty-seven dogs (27 stifles) were included and no major complications occurred. At eight weeks postoperatively, a significant difference in peak vertical force analysis was noted between the LLLT (39.6% ± 4.7%) and sham groups (28.9% ± 2.6%), (p <0.01 Time, p <0.01 L). There were no significant differences noted between groups for all other parameters. The age of dogs in the LLLT group (6.6 ± 1.6 years) was greater than that for the sham group (4.5 ± 2.0, p <0.01). Although not significant, a greater proportion of LLLT dogs (5/8) had healed at the eight-week time point than in the sham group (3/12) despite the age difference (p = 0.11)

Clinical significance: The results of this study demonstrate that improved peak vertical force could be related to the preoperative use of LLLT for dogs undergoing TPLO at eight weeks postoperatively. The use of LLLT may improve postoperative return to function following ca-nine osteotomies and its use is recommended.

Supplementary Material to this article is available online at

Deceased February 25, 2016.