Patellar Luxation

by Angelia Oliverei, LVT

What is a “luxating patella”?

Patellar luxation is a condition that occurs in dogs and cats in which the patella (kneecap) slides out its normal position (see radiographs below).  The patella is a sesamoid bone, which means it is a bone embedded in soft tissue that serves as an anchor point for muscle during movement.  The patella is located in the trochlear groove of the femur and is held in position by the patella ligament that attaches to the quadriceps muscles and ends with its insertion at the front of the tibia.  Patella luxation can occur when the trochlear groove is too shallow, not allowing the patella to sit properly within the groove.  It can luxate medially (towards the inside of the leg) or laterally (towards the outside of the leg), but medial luxation is more common.  Additionally, the patella can luxate because the ligament that holds the patella in position within the grove is attached too far medially.  When the thigh muscle contracts, it will pull the patella out of its groove.  Patella luxation most commonly affects small breed dogs including Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas, Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, Pomeranians, and miniature Poodles.  However, it can affect large breed dogs and cats.


Common Canine Congenital Orthopedic Conditions

by Janelle Allen, LVT and Angelia Oliverei, LVT

Unfortunately canine congenital orthopedic conditions are common in the rehabilitation field.  A diagnosis of hip dysplasia in a young dog, or puppy can make you feel over whelmed, and helpless.  Often thoughts turn to only being able to manage the disease with pain killers or surgery.  However, rehabilitation professionals have a lot to offer these young patients, especially when we meet them early in life!  Surgery may be avoided and we may even be able to ween them off of pain medications.  First, let’s take a look at a few common canine congenital orthopedic conditions that we see.  This is a short introduction, as each of these disease processes can take up an entire blog themselves.   Continue…