Memphis Veterinary Patellar Luxation
What is Patellar Luxation?
Patellar Luxation is also known as “kneecap” luxation. This is one of the most common congenital abnormalities in dogs, and while most common in small breeds, this abnormality can occur in any dog. Patellar luxations most often occur secondary to a pet’s conformation (shape of the leg) but can also be caused by trauma. Clinical signs include an abnormal gait (skip), intermittent lameness, or, in rare cases, constant lameness. Patellar luxations can be medial (most commonly, toward the inside) or lateral, and are graded based on severity. Grade I is the mildest form of the disease and grade IV is the most severe. An orthopedic exam and x-rays are needed to diagnose a patellar luxation.
How is Patellar Luxation treated?
Treatment is based on how severely your pet is affected. Pets that have a low-grade luxation and show minimal to no clinical signs do not require surgery. Pets with higher-grade luxations that have gait abnormalities and/or lameness will require surgical correction.
What can be expected?
Overall, patients with patellar luxation recover very well from the procedure and show minimal, if any, signs of lameness. The healing time after surgery generally consists of about 6-8 weeks of strict confinement followed by a recheck appointment with x-rays. In approximately 10% of cases, reluxation of the patella can occur after surgery. Fortunately, these are usually grade I and do not require additional therapy.