Health - Patellar Luxation

Patellar Luxation
Patellar luxation is the dislocation (slipping) of the patella (kneecap). In dogs, the patella is a small bone that shields the front of the stifle joint. This bone is held in place by ligaments. As the knee joint is moved, the patella slides in a groove in the femur. The kneecap may dislocate toward the inside (medial) or outside (lateral) of the leg. This condition may be the result of injury or congenital deformities .


Patellar luxation can affect either or both legs.


Testing is available to predict the presence of patellar luxation in a dog, but cannot predict it.


The most common occurrence of patellar luxation in French Bulldogs is the medial presentation. Shallow femoral groove, weak ligaments and malalignment of the tendons and muscles that straighten the joint are all conditions that will predispose a dog toward luxating patellas.


Indications of patellar lunation are:

  • Difficulty in straightening the knee
  • Pain in the stifle
  • Limping
  • The tip of the hock points outward while the toes point inward

The diagnosis of this condition can usually be confirmed (by a veterinarian) by manipulating the stifle joint and pushing the patella in and out of position.

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