Correction of Medial Patella Luxation

Function of the patella

The patella is an integral component of the extensor mechanism of the stifle joint, along with the quadriceps muscles.

To serve its function, the patella must remain in the trochlea, the groove at the distal end of the femur.  The patella is anchored distally to the tibial tuberosity.


Patella Luxations

Small breeds of dogs often suffer from a medially luxating/luxated patella.  Larger breeds can also suffer from patella luxation, either medially or laterally.  Most of the time, the conditions affects both legs.  Patella luxation, being usually a congenital problem, manifests itself at a young age.  Left untreated, it results in abnormal development and wear of the stifle joint, osteoarthritis, and impaired hind leg function.

Correction of luxation

The correction consists in aligning the extensor mechanism (quadriceps muscles/patella) with the long axis of the leg and the trochlea.  The most effective way to do that is to move the distal attachment of the patella in the opposite direction of the luxation.  The trochlea is then deepened for further insurance against reluxation.

Post-Operative Care

  • The surgical incision needs to be evaluated daily; Report excessive swelling, redness, or drainage. Contact us regarding any concerns.
  • Ice the surgical site a few times a day for 4 days
  • Administer medication as prescribed
  • Sutures need to be removed 10-14 days after surgery
  • Confined to level surface (no stairs or furniture) for 3 weeks
  • Supervised walk and, if possible, swimming/physical therapy starting 2 weeks post-op
  • Resume all normal activities 6 weeks post-op


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