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My vet says my dog has a knee luxation. What does that mean?

By: Dr. Jon Rappaport

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Our question this week was:

My vet says my dog has a knee luxation. What does that mean?

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. A knee luxation is a condition in which the patella (knee-cap) no longer glides within its natural groove (sulcus) in the femur, the upper bone of the knee joint. It becomes displaced to the inside or outside of the joint and can be partial or complete, intermittent or permanent. When it is displaced to the inside, it is called "Medial Patellar Luxation (MPL)" and when it is displaced to the outside, it is called "Lateral Patellar Luxation (LPL)".

MPL is more common and can occur as a result of trauma or develop during the first year of an animal's life. It can occur in a wide variety of breeds but is most common in small breed dogs.

The most common symptom is lameness that can vary from an occasional hitch of the leg, like an intermittent skipping, to a persistent weight bearing lameness.

Go to the above links for more information on the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.

Best of luck!


Dr. Jon



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