Outcome of surgical correction of medial patellar luxation in dogs weighing less than 10 kg

Jakub Vodnarek, Eva Schneider, Barbara Bockstahler, Eva Schnabl-Feichter
Vet Rec. 2024 Apr 6:e3994. doi: 10.1002/vetr.3994.

Background: Various trochleoplasty techniques, including trochlear wedge recession (TWR) and trochlear block recession (TBR), are used to treat dogs with medial patellar luxation (MPL). However, the objective outcomes of these surgical procedures are underreported.

Methods: Medical records were obtained for dogs weighing less than 10 kg that underwent either TWR or TBR and tibial tuberosity transposition to address grade I-III MPL. Long-term (at least 1 year after the last procedure) follow-up included orthopaedic and radiographic examinations, such as osteoarthritis score (OAS), ground reaction force (GRF) analysis and canine brief pain inventory (CBPI).

Results: Overall, 20 dogs (26 stifles) were followed up in the long term. Minor postoperative complications, medial patellar reluxation (MPR) and intermittent lameness occurred in 46.15%, 19.23% and 15% of the dogs, respectively. MPR occurred only in TWR-treated stifles, while mean OAS increased in all groups. Using the CBPI, the owners perceived an excellent or very good outcome in 95% of dogs.

Limitations: The limitations of the study include its retrospective observational nature, a lack of randomisation and a small sample size.

Conclusion: Surgical treatment resulted in a favourable outcome. GRF analysis could detect subtle differences in weight bearing in dogs treated for MPL, which might not be apparent clinically. There might be a higher risk for reluxation for TWR. However, a larger-scale prospective study would be required to find which treatment is superior.