What is Medial Patellar Luxation (MPL)?
Medial Patellar Luxation is when the patella, also known as the “kneecap”, slips in and out of its natural position (groove). MPL is a condition that can lead to orthopedic lameness (inability or not wanting to place weight on one or more limbs).
MPL can affect dogs of any size and can be quite painful depending on the severity. There are 4 classifications used to determine the severity of Medial Patellar Luxation:
Grade 1 Patella Luxation – the patella can be pushed out of the groove but is usually located in the correct anatomic position.
Grade 2 Patella Luxation – the patella will shift medially without assistance but will also return to its normal position.
Grade 3 Patella Luxation – the patella is outside of its normal position at all times but can be pushed back into its groove.
Grade 4 Patella Luxation – the patella is permanently found outside of its normal position and it is impossible to return it to its proper position.
● Holding up the affected leg
● Lameness or limping
● Shaking or extending the leg prior to use
● Sudden carrying of the limb (“skipping”)
● Young puppies that appear to be “bow legged”
However, not all MPLs are problematic and a treatment plan would be made depending on the severity of the condition.
If you suspect that your dog may be experiencing signs of a Medial Patellar Luxation, it is recommended that you try to limit the amount of exercise such as long walks, running, etc. until your vet has completed an examination. Most diagnosis can be made with a simple, non-invasive physical exam.
If you have concerns regarding your furry friend’s mobility, give VIP Animal Hospital a call today to book an appointment. If your pet needs surgical MPL repair, we offer the services of a Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon to make sure your pet’s health is in the best of hands.