Experienced Treatment for Luxating Patella in Dogs

Simply put, a luxating patella is a knee cap that moves out of its normal location. Patella luxations can be painful and result in varying degrees of abnormal gait and can often snowball into a series of other problems. Upper Canada Animal Hospital can help you fix a luxating patella thanks to Dr. Turpel’s 20 years of experience dealing with this common problem.

Dr. Jim Turpel has a strong interest in surgery and performs an array of orthopedic as well as soft tissue surgeries. As a result of his impeccable track record, Dr. Turpel performs surgeries for his own clients, as well as those referred by Animal Hospitals throughout Ontario and upstate New York.

Patellar luxations typically occur in small breed dogs; however any breed can be affected. Your best bet when it comes to complete healing is surgery if a luxating patella is causing lameness, or you have a larger dog that  may not even be showing any signs. 

What you need to know about luxating patella in dogs 

Luxating Patella in Dogs

  • If mild and in a small breed, surgery may not be required
  • Some dogs can tolerate the condition for years before lameness develops
  • You may never see a sign of lameness until the problem is quite severe
  • With age, arthritis may set in, causing constant pain to an already injured knee
  • It may also lead to other knee injuries, particularly cruciate ligament tears

Luxating Patella Treatment and Surgery

Although detecting a condition like this can be difficult, there are several methods of correction to help your injured dog. Because there are varying degrees of instability, a surgeon will recommend the best possible surgical procedure for your dog.

  • Trochleoplasty/Sulcoplasty: This involves the deepening of the trochlear groove so the patella will stay in place.
  • Tibial Crest Transposition: The tibial crest is cut from its abnormal location and moved to its proper location.
  • Imbrication: deals with the reinforcement of the soft tissues around the knee.

In very severe cases, where the leg may be severely deformed, additional bone reconstruction may be required (although this is very rare)

While our luxating patella surgeries carry an extremely high success rate, it is important to note that not all luxating patellas require surgical correction. Small breed dogs that are not showing any signs of discomfort or lameness may not require surgery.

If your dog is undergoing surgery to treat a patella luxation, keep in mind the following pointers:

  • Early surgical intervention (especially in medium to large breed dogs) is best
  • Keep your dog lean – obesity only adds to their problems
  • Ensure that the appropriate surgical technique is employed, depending on the specifics of your pet’s condition
  • Success rates at our hospital approach 95% in small breed dogs and is slightly lower in medium to large breed dogs

With a range of surgical treatments available for luxating patella in dogs, you are sure to find the answer to your pet’s problem. Contact Upper Canada Animal Hospital to consult Dr. Jim Turpel and his team of expert veterinarians.

For a detailed outlook on Dr. Turpel’s surgical background please see his biography.