Medial Patella Luxation

Sign up to our newsletter for all the latest pet related news both locally and Australia wide.
Google Maps location for Lilydale - Yarra Ranges Animal Hospital

Lilydale - Yarra Ranges Animal Hospital
484 Maroondah Hwy
VIC 3140

Show location on map

03 9739 5244

Yarra Glen - Yarra Ranges Animal Hospital
28 Bell St
Yarra Glen
VIC 3775

Show location on map

03 9730 1569

What is this condition?


Medial patella luxation occurs when the patella bone, commonly called the kneecap, dislocates out of the groove (called the trochlea groove) in which it normally sits. This condition is typically a developmental problem caused by abnormal growth of the bones and soft tissues of the back legs. Many breeds of dogs are affected by this condition and both legs may be affected.


Signs of patella luxation in your dog may range from mild skipping when running through to a 'crab-like' walk due to inability to move the knee joint. Often times, affected dogs are seen with advanced osteoarthrtitis in the knee joint due to this condition.


Does my dog require surgery?


As with many diseases, the severity of this condition ranges from mild to severe and not all animal require surgery. Veterinarians classify medial patella luxation into four grades:

  •  Grade I: the kneecap occasionally pops in and out of the trochlea groove. Your dog may not be lame and generally will not require surgery.
  •  Grade II: the kneecap dislocates more frequently and on occasion, may remain outside the trochlea groove. These dogs may be lame occasionally and will suffer from early osteoarthritis. Surgery is indicated in most cases to prevent osteoarthritis and eradicate lameness.
  •  Grade III: the kneecap is found outside the trochlear groove but may be forced back into its normal place, only to dislocate again. Surgery is always indicated due to lameness and early osteoarthritis.
  •  Grade IV: the kneecap is always outside the trochlea groove and cannot be returned to its normal place. These dogs are severely lame and surgery is always indicated.


Based on clinical examination, your veterinarian will classify the grade of the patella luxation in your dog and make an appropriate recommendation.


How is the condition repaired?


 This condition is repaired by a surgery that involves a combination of procedures aimed to re-align the conformation of the knee joint. The most common procedures employed at our hospital are combination of a tibial crest transposition, a trochlear wedge recession, medial desmotomy and lateral fascial imbrications. Your surgeon will clinically assess your dog to formulate a surgical plan based on the severity of the condition and will thoroughly discuss this plan with you prior to surgery.


Back to Surgery