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Patellar Luxation
Patella Luxation

     The patella is commonly referred to as the kneecap.  The tendon from the patella crosses over the front of the knee joint to insert onto the long prominence(anterior tibial tuberosity) just below the knee joint.  
     The patella glides in front of the knee when the joint is flexed and extended.  To help maintain a consistent and straight gliding pathway, the patella rides in a groove of the femur called the trochlear groove.  When the patella is displaced out of this groove, it is referred to as luxated.  The permanency of the luxation varies from the patella being always out of the trochlear groove to the patella occasionally slipping out of the groove.  Graded I to IV.
     When the patella luxates from the trochlear groove, a variable degree of pain occurs and the patient may limp or show discomfort.  In the actively growing young patient, the luxating patella may cause skeletal deformities.  This is why we recommend early surgical intervention,

Home Care After Surgery

     It generally takes about 4-6 weeks for the joint to heal and 8 weeks for the bone to heal.  Your pet may not use the operated leg for the first 2 weeks.  It is okay for your pet to use the leg as soon as they want as long as they are not running, jumping or climbing a flight of stairs.  We recommend your pet stay in one room of the house with no furniture to jump on, or a kennel crate if that is better for your situation.  Dogs can be walked on a leash outside to urinate and defecate.
     Your pet may not have skin sutures that need to be removed.  If your pet has begun to use their leg at 2 weeks postoperatively we may not need to see your pet for a recheck.  If your pet is not using their leg please call our office for advice.  We may recommend exercises that you can do at home to help your pet begin using their operated leg.
     We expect to see slow, gradual improvement in use of the leg.  There may be pins used in your pet's surgical repair.  Occasionally these pins may become loose after healing.  If you notice any swelling or discomfort please call our office.