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Lateral Patella Luxation in Dogs

By: Dr. Nicholas Trout

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Related Symptoms or Diseases

There are many other causes of lameness referable to the knee joint. These diseases would be considered during the history taking and the physical examination. Some examples would include the following:

  • Medial patella luxation. The same clinical signs as lateral patella luxation are present, but the displacement is to the inside rather than the outside of the knee. This disorder occurs more frequently in smaller breeds of dog.

  • Cranial cruciate ligament rupture. Like patella luxation this injury can result from an acute traumatic event or develop as a chronic lower grade lameness. It is not uncommon to have combinations of patella luxation and a torn cranial cruciate ligament.

  • Collateral ligament injury. The collateral ligaments are located on the inner (medial) aspect and outer (lateral) aspect of the knee joint. They are most commonly injured in major trauma to the whole joint called stifle luxation or a deranged stifle. The medial collateral ligament and the cranial cruciate ligament are often both torn together with damage to the cartilage shock absorber, the meniscus, that lies between the two major bones of the knee joint. The patella is not normally affected in this injury.

  • Patella fractures are uncommon and would present as an acute traumatic lameness, usually as a result of a direct blow.

  • Patella tendon rupture is even less common and results in the patella being displaced above the knee joint, not out to one side or the other.

  • In young dogs, the position of the knee-cap may be altered due to a fracture at the attachment of the patella ligament to the bone below the knee joint, the tibia. This fracture is called an avulsion of the tibial tuberosity and requires surgery to return the fragment, the tendon and the knee-cap to their appropriate positions.

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