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Patella Luxation

Learn about Patella Luxation as well as how it can be treated.

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What is Patella Luxation?

Patella Luxation is an orthopedic condition in dogs and cats where the kneecap slides out of its normal position in the knee joint. It can range in severity from mild, intermittent episodes to more severe and chronic cases. In animals with Patella Luxation, the patella can dislocate from its groove, leading to discomfort, lameness, and difficulty in walking or bearing weight on the affected limb.

What Causes Patella Luxation?

Patella Luxation can be caused by various factors, including genetics, skeletal abnormalities, developmental issues, or traumatic injuries. These abnormalities can be present at birth or develop over time. The condition may be diagnosed through physical examination and X-rays.

How is Patella Luxation treated?

Surgical procedures for Patella Luxation typically involve realigning the patella within its groove. The surgeon will make a small cut and carefully put the kneecap back into its proper place. In order to make the kneecap more stable, the surgery will often include reconstructing or deepening the groove where the kneecap sits.

FAQs You Might Have

Here are some frequently asked questions about Patella Luxation.

What are the signs and symptoms of Patella Luxation?

Animals with Patella Luxation may exhibit signs such as intermittent or persistent lameness, skipping or hopping on the affected leg, sudden episodes of pain or limping, and difficulty fully extending the affected leg. Some pets may also show signs of a locking or popping sensation when the kneecap moves out of place and then spontaneously returns to its normal position.

Is Patella Luxation a genetic condition?

Patella Luxation can have a genetic component and is often seen in certain breeds. However, it can also be caused by other factors like trauma, developmental abnormalities, or variations in the structure of the knee joint.

How is Patella Luxation diagnosed?

Diagnosis of Patella Luxation involves a thorough physical examination which includes assessing the range of motion in the affected leg as well as feeling for any abnormal movement of the kneecap. X-rays may be taken to evaluate the severity of the luxation and assess any associated joint abnormalities.

What are the treatment options for Patella Luxation?

The treatment for Patella Luxation depends on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, where the luxation is infrequent or causes minimal discomfort, conservative management such as weight management, exercise modification, and anti-inflammatory medications may be recommended. In more severe or persistent cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to correct the alignment of the kneecap and stabilize the joint. Surgical procedures can include realignment of the soft tissues around the knee, deepening the groove where the patella sits, or realigning the bones to improve stability.

Can Patella Luxation be prevented?

While Patella Luxation has a genetic predisposition in certain breeds, prevention is challenging. Maintaining a healthy weight, providing regular exercise to strengthen supporting muscles, and avoiding excessive strain on the joints may help minimize the risk or severity of Patella Luxation. Regular veterinary check-ups can also aid in early detection and intervention if Patella Luxation is suspected.

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