Medial Luxating Patella
What Causes This?
The patella (knee-cap) is a small bone buried in major tendons of the leg, and sitting in the groove of the thigh bone. Luxation means that the knee-cap is poping out of the groove, usually when the knee flexes. This is an extremely common condition in smaller dogs. It may affect 1 or both knees. Genetics plays a major part in this happening, although trauma can sometime contribute. Some dogs are affected more than others. One of the common signs that you would notice is your pet suddenly carrying one back leg up for a few steps ("skipping").
How Do We Fix It?
1. We enter the knee and deepen the femoral groove o that the knee cap sits deeply in its normal position and doesn't slip out.
2. We tighten the tissues on the outside of the knee and loosen the tissues on the inside of the knee, to help pull the knee cap into place.
3. In really bad cases, we also need to realign the tibial crest, which is the bone that the patellar tendon connects to.
What Does This Cost?
A rough estimate for the out-the-door cost of this surgery is $1,000 per affected leg. This would include all the necessary blood work, peri-operative x-rays, medicines to go home, e-collar, and surgery. If the leg is severely affected, and we also need to align the tibial crest, that may add about $400 to the total. We can give you a more accurate estimate after performing a physical exam and talking more about your pet.