News Article: Ridgestop, a new technique for patella luxation

Patella luxation is a common problem in dogs. The patella (kneecap) luxates (dislocates) from the trochlea (the groove) in which it is supposed to run on the bottom end of the femur (thigh bone).

The patella usually luxates medially (towards the inside) but can luxate laterally (towards the outside). When t he latter occurs, it is usually in larger breeds.

We often need to create osteotomies (bone cuts) in the tibia (shin bone) or the femur. Sometimes the trochlea is not sufficiently deep to restrain the patella in its proper track. In the past the solution to this has been to deepen the groove using a range of techniques, most of which aim to save the articular cartilage.

A new approach is to build up the side of the ridge using an implanted strip held by screws.

We have acquired one of the first kits for this new technique and did our first case on 27th June on a juvenile spaniel with laterally luxating patellae in both knees. The left side was done first and if all goes well, then the second side will be done in a few weeks. We have avoided osteotomies, at least for now, in this growing dog and this simplifies the worry and the aftercare for the owner in the post-op period.
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