Medial Patella Luxation (MPL) is a developmental disease typically seen in small breed dogs. It occurs when the patella moves in and out of its groove on the femur, at the knee. MPLs are graded on a scale from 1 – 4, depending on the severity of the disease. MPLs can be diagnosed based on a Physical Exam.


Include a “skipping” gait, or extension of a leg behind your dog when it is walking or running for a step or two. It can happen on one side, or both sides. Dogs may also have variable degrees of lameness based on the severity of their MPL. Medial Patella Luxations can predispose dogs to tearing their Cranial Cruciate Ligament, (CCL or ACL) in the knee, which can cause severe lameness.


Depending on the severity of the luxation, our staff surgeon, Dr. Dusty Spencer, may recommend surgery to fix the luxating patella. Surgery may involve multiple aspects to help correct and align your dog’s anatomy, and deepen the groove the patella sits in, to prevent it from luxating. Recovery from surgery usually takes about eight weeks, and includes activity restriction and rehabilitation. Allure Integrated Pet Specialists is lucky enough to have an onsite Rehabilitation team, lead by a Physical Therapist (holding a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy) to help guide you through the recovery process to maximize your pet’s outcome postoperatively. Physical rehabilitation is a very important part of the recovery process after MPL surgery.