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Old 05-16-2009, 07:11 PM
FluffyZooCrew
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Question Luxtating Patella Surgery?

Does anyone here have a dog that has undergone surgery for a luxtating patella? Sam has a very bad luxtating patella in his left knee, and will eventually have to undergo surgery for it. I'm just curious what to expect, what's the down time after surgery, recovery, ect.
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:56 PM
Pam111 Pam111 is offline
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I'm not going to be a lot of help, but my friend's maltese had the surgery and her recovery was quick. She was back to being herself not long at all after the surgery.

My dog Annabelle has issues with this but the vets don't think it will get bad enough or surgery ever. I hope this is true
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:52 AM
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Brandyb Brandyb is offline
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My little JRT just had the surgery in December. There are two ways that I know of that this surgery can be accomplished.
The first, and cheaper way, is to dig out the grove for the patella to sit in to make it deeper and more likely to hold the knee cap in place, move/suture some muscles/tendons etc. back into place (straight again) so that there is less chance of the patella becoming luxated again.
The second, which is what I had done on my girlie, is a little more complicated. It does involve deepening the groove and moving muscle as well, but there is also cutting and pinning of bone to reset where the patella will eventually lie - cutting the tibia (I believe it's the tibia - anatomy eludes me right now)) and moving it into a better position, pinning it back in place. I think in her case, there was another cut to the bone, as there was no grove at all, so a whole new (I like to call bionic, but its really not) joint was created.
She came to work with me for about three weeks, as I wanted to keep her moving, and not have her stiffen up. She literally walked out of surgery, which the vet said she would do, but was in pain. There was icing, and heating involved, massage, and the vet gave us physio to follow up with and recommended swimming, once the sutures were healed, because it's low impact, but also a lot more strenuous to build muscle back than just walking. Walking was suppose to be three times a day, starting at about 5 minutes each time and building up to a half hour (or more) at the end.
I am extremely please with the result, just for the fact that she doesn't skip when she walks anymore, and even just that little thing is worth it to me, to see her walk more comfortably.
I will say, keep an eye out for over compensation injury before, during and after healing. She was so used to skipping and over compensating for one side, that she did a bit of a number on her back, which had therapy for. They have to get used to walking properly on their "new" legs, and though it seemed like forever, once she started it was a breath of fresh air - LOL
But, she is back competing in agility (1st trial was 2 weekends ago), though she cannot jump as high, she looks very comfortable out there.
Overall, I'm pleased with the results, and I think I will still see more as it is only 5 months since the surgery - the vet was impressed with how well she healed, and I guess it can only get better from here.
Now, in saying all of this, at this point in her life my vet said the surgery was more cosmetic than anything. If she hadn't been competing (ortho vet approved) than I probably wouldn't have gone ahead with the surgery...she explained there really isn't any pain, it's just somewhat uncomfortable, and my girls was an extreme case, so with a mild case, even less so. Though in injured joints, there is always that nasty arthritis that can set in, which is what I was worried about. I would like to compete her as long as she can do it comfortably.
I've never heard of a luxated patella healing itself - technically there is no way for it to do so as the body would have to create itself a deeper groove. I have heard, however, of patellas that sit medial, that have seemingly embedded themselves into this new spot, creating a false groove for the knee cap to slide in.
Hope this has helped. Good luck!!
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:23 AM
FluffyZooCrew
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Thanks Brandy, that helped tons!

Did you notice, before the surgery, if she was running fine but would only skip when she walks? Sam runs and jumps like the wind, but if he is just walking, he walks with a 'limp' and you can see the bulging kneecap popping in and out as he walks. He also trips, something awful, going up stairs as well.
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:25 AM
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Brandyb Brandyb is offline
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You're very welcome.
Yes, before surgery I noticed the skip in the step while she was walking, but no sign of it during a run or jumping session. Never saw a bulging kneecap though, and she never had issues with tripping or stairs.
Good luck!!
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www.juliesillustration.com

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