Patellar Luxation In Dogs

Dislocated kneecap– orpatellar luxation – is a fairly common condition in dogs, particularly smaller toy breeds. With the patella dislocated (or luxed) medially, the knee cannot stretch properly and remains bent. For certain dogs, having a kneecap back where it belongs and a typical extension of the back leg are done by surgery.


A dislocated kneecap is typically due to a hereditary malformation or trauma. Normally, clinical symptoms of the genetic disorder will begin approximately four months after birth.

Signs And Symptoms

  • Lameness
  • A skipping or a stiff gait, almost as if the leg could not be bent
  • The leg may be turned inward, and the lump may be made visible by feeling around the inner or outer leg
  • Pain
  • Sudden cries of pain while running
  • The stiffness of the hind limb
  • Arthritis can grow as a secondary symptom

Some pets show only one symptom, while others show several symptoms of the disease.


Your vet will feel your dog’s knee very gently and conduct a few different tests to verify the integrity of the kneecap. They’ll even check your dog’s cruciate ligaments because cruciate disease is common in dogs with patella luxation. Some dogs need general anesthetics and x-rays for a full diagnosis, particularly if their knees are very sore.


A surgery could be performed. This surgery is commonly called Medial Luxating Patella Repair. The following three steps are performed by the veterinarian.

  • The point where the ligament of the patella is attached is relocated and surgically fixed to its correct position.
  • The groove where the patella rests is deepened so that the patella remains in place.
  • The capsule around the joint of the knee is tightened.

It is critical that this operation is done before arthritis occurs in the joint. If there is no arthritis, the dog can make full use of the leg again. If arthritis is present in the joint, the joint can still be painful, particularly in the cold weather.

Prevention And Care

Quick walking (no running or jumping) is beneficial during this period. The dog can use the leg for two weeks after surgery, although some dogs should be restricted to use the leg after surgery. Physical rehabilitation is in order if the dog does not use the leg for one month.

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