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Patellar Luxation

A Step by Step Guide

Patellar luxation is the condition where the patella luxates out of the femoral trochlear sulcus instead of tracking up and down within it. Most commonly the patella luxates medially but lateral luxation also occurs. It can occur in any size or breed of dog but is more common in small breed dogs. Cats have a broad and fl at patella and the femoral trochlear sulcus is shallow; therefore the normal cat patella is much more mobile mediolaterally and relatively unstable compared to dogs. Patellar subluxation is common in cats but, clinically significant patellar luxation is uncommon. Patellar luxation is usually a diagnosis made from the patient history and signalment, and by stifle manipulation and palpation, rather than from radiographs. This is because the luxating patella is mobile and can change position which can be easily palpated but not necessarily appreciated on a radiograph.

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