Luxating Patella Surg. Recovery

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WackyJacki
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Luxating Patella Surg. Recovery

Postby WackyJacki » Mon May 25, 2009 6:53 pm

Ok, so my Boston had surgery to fix a luxating patella. All they had to do was deepen the groove that the knee sits in. No breaking bones, no pins, etc.

She is about 4 1/2 weeks post op and still doesn't use her leg. The poor leg is so atrophied it looks ridiculous. She doesn't appear to have any pain in the leg and doesn't mind the leg being bent/moved around.

She recovered from the surgery quickly with no complications. Her two week post-op check went well. Dr said that the knee is sitting in place nicely and that it's just a matter of time before she starts using the leg again. He also said he doesn't get concerned about the lack of using the leg until about 6 weeks post-op.

I know I'm probably just being paranoid, but does anybody have any personal experience with this? What was the recovery like?

We are hopefully going to have nice enough weather this weekend to get out there and get her swimming.

Experiences anyone?

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Postby HappyPuppy » Tue May 26, 2009 3:14 pm

Good luck with that. I have no advice or post-op experience but my girl has a luxating patella and I've noticed she does the 'kick step' pretty regularly now but my last vet never 'rated' it so I plan to see if they can rate it on my next vet visit. What were your dog's symptoms that prompted surgery?

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Postby OlympianAB » Tue May 26, 2009 3:19 pm

my girl that recently had lux patella surgery and CCL at the same time, was using her leg once they removed the pressure cast, 3 days later.

Full weight on it about 15-20 days post surgery

right now 6months post surgery she has built back all her muscle she lost in that leg.. which was a considerable amount..

i would call to see what he has to say, Did they give you any post surgical exercises to help with the physical therapy.

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Postby WackyJacki » Tue May 26, 2009 3:21 pm

HappyPuppy wrote:Good luck with that. I have no advice or post-op experience but my girl has a luxating patella and I've noticed she does the 'kick step' pretty regularly now but my last vet never 'rated' it so I plan to see if they can rate it on my next vet visit. What were your dog's symptoms that prompted surgery?


Thank you for the well wishes :)

She started the occasional "skipping" when she was around 6 months old. She could pop in back in herself, no problem, never missed a beat. Never acted like she was in any pain either.

Around a yr old, she started having her knee pop out several times a day. She could usually put it in herself, but sometimes I would pop it back in for her. Again, never seemed to cause pain.

I put her on a gluco supplement. A month later, the knee didn't pop out again for almost 2 yrs. Not once. And she played and ran around like a maniac.

Suddenly, last December, it started up again, and rapidly got worse, to the point where her knee was out more then it was in... so I knew surgery was the only option left.

A lot of dogs never require surgery for an LP and live just fine with it. It's important to keep them lean and muscular and on a good joint supplement their whole lives.

The problem is, once it gets to a certain point, it's only going to get worse and contribute to arthritis in the joint and could eventually become very debilitating.

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Postby WackyJacki » Tue May 26, 2009 3:23 pm

Here's generally how it's rated:

Grade I -- The patella can be manually luxated but easily comes back into normal position. Patient may or may not occasionally carry the affected leg.

Grade II -- Patella luxates on flexion of the knee joint and remains out of place until manually replaced or patient extends and rotates joint. Patient intermittently carries the affected limb with the knee joint flexed.

Grade III -- Patella remains luxated most of the time but can be manually reduced (placed back into position). Flexion and extension of the knee joint reluxates the patella. Patient transfers most of the body weight to the front legs, bunny hops or carries the affected legs, and appears bowlegged or knock-kneed.

Grade IV -- Patella is permanently luxated and cannot be manually repositioned. The quadriceps muscle group starts to shorten, making it difficult to extend the leg fully. Patient transfers most of the body weight to the front legs, bunny hops or carries the affected legs, and appears bowlegged or knock-kneed. (this grade is quite rare)

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Postby WackyJacki » Tue May 26, 2009 3:32 pm

OlympianAB wrote:my girl that recently had lux patella surgery and CCL at the same time, was using her leg once they removed the pressure cast, 3 days later.

Full weight on it about 15-20 days post surgery

right now 6months post surgery she has built back all her muscle she lost in that leg.. which was a considerable amount..

i would call to see what he has to say, Did they give you any post surgical exercises to help with the physical therapy.


Wow, that's fast.

I did see the dr 2 weeks post op, and he said he wasn't concerned that she wasn't using it, and generally doesn't get concerned until about 6 weeks post op. I thought this seemed like a long time, but he said some dogs just take awhile to realize that they can use the leg again :dunno:

He does about one of these surgeries every week, so I'm trying to trust him lol (but I'm a worry wart!)

I have been doing range of motion exercises, muscle massaging (what little muscle is left) and she does use it a little when going up the stairs, so we do several reps of that a day. She also will use it if I wrap her other leg straight so that it's harder to "hop" on it. I do this a couple of times a day for 10-15min. I'm going to start doing it for longer.

We also will start swimming when the weather is nicer (hopefully this weekend!)

I think the problem is that the leg is so weak (muscle atrophy), that she doesn't feel confident on it, and it's just so easy for her to get around on three legs.

Oy.

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Postby OlympianAB » Tue May 26, 2009 3:37 pm

i was told one exercise is put something odd on the "good" leg, lke a hair tie to help them use the other leg

the guy that did my surgery is an Ortho specialist, all he does is joint surgeries alot of CCL and Lax patella surgeries, he told me if she wasn't using it in about 2 weeks that we need to change something...

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Postby WackyJacki » Tue May 26, 2009 3:41 pm

OlympianAB wrote:i was told one exercise is put something odd on the "good" leg, lke a hair tie to help them use the other leg

the guy that did my surgery is an Ortho specialist, all he does is joint surgeries alot of CCL and Lax patella surgeries, he told me if she wasn't using it in about 2 weeks that we need to change something...


Hmm see now that makes me worry.

My guy isn't an ortho specialist, but did take extra classes in ortho and does several ortho surgeries a week.

I'm more inclined to believe a guy that exclusively does these kinds of surgeries.

<sigh> We bring her in next week for another post op check. I guess I'll see what he says.

Meanwhile, I'm going to keep putting a bandage around the good leg a few times a day to encourage using the "bad" leg.

Her poor little leg is starting to look like a parasitic limb lol

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Postby OlympianAB » Tue May 26, 2009 3:43 pm

i had follow ups every 2 weeks til week 14, also xrays at week 1,4, 8 and 14 to make sure everything looked good.

Caps surgery was also 4 1/2 hrs long, and required alot of metal, completely rebuilt her knee in a sense of the words.

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Postby WackyJacki » Tue May 26, 2009 3:47 pm

OlympianAB wrote:i had follow ups every 2 weeks til week 14, also xrays at week 1,4, 8 and 14 to make sure everything looked good.

Caps surgery was also 4 1/2 hrs long, and required alot of metal, completely rebuilt her knee in a sense of the words.


Wow.

Well Fiona's surgery was only 30min or so lol

They just had to deepen the groove a bit, nothing serious really.

And the knee is staying in place great, thankfully.

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Postby OlympianAB » Tue May 26, 2009 3:57 pm

Caps was a bad grade 5. that wouldn't until the sutured it with metal sutures and plates stay in place..

had to do work on the muscles since they were damaged from the knee not working properly


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