Luxating Patella

This is when the patella (knee cap) moves freely from side to side due to the trochlea (the groove in which the patella sits and is located on the femur) being too shallow. The patella ligament which attaches to the tiba and patella will struggle to hold the patella in place during movement and the result is the patella luxating (popping out) of the trochlea (groove) rather than sliding up and down.

It can be due to malformation of the femur, tiba or tibial crest and/or that the patella ligament is attached too far inward at its point of attachment on the tiba meaning that as the muscle contracts the patella pulls against the inner groove but luxates as the ligament is unable to hold it in place. It can also be down to a past trauma of the knee, poor breeding and genetics.

Symptoms include:

• Holding the back leg off the ground
• Sudden recovering with normal movement
• Hop Hop Skip action (often seen when the dog is trying to pop it back in)
• Yelping in pain
• Reluctance to move
• Inability to bear weight on affected leg
• Intolerance to being touched

Massage benefits include:

• Reduces stiffness
• Helps lengthen muscles at origin and insertion points
• Relieves tightness in the lower back
• Relieves pain referral and areas of over compensation
• Improves range of movement