View Full Version : Post Luxating Patella Surgery Recovery

14th March 2009, 02:10 PM
I've noticed that a lot of dogs on this board are going through a patella surgery shortly or dealing with an issue and I've always had questions regarding the recovery period following surgery.

It seems like a lot of surgeons make sure that dogs are on total crate rest for a good 4-6 weeks after surgery, which is totally opposite from what was "prescribed" to us.

Kosmo had bilateral luxating patella surgery at 1 1/2 yrs old and after his surgery he had a pin in one leg and the other didn't need one. After surgery there was nothing on his leg externally, but he did have internal and external sutures.

I was told immediately after surgery that he was allowed to go outside (with being on a leash) to pee and that I should take him on several short walks per day . . . meaning to the end of our (very short) driveway and back. I was also instructed to move his legs in a bicycle movement a few times per day. The only time he was to be in his playpen was if I was out of the house or room and if he wasn't on my lap. Other than that, he was allowed to walk around on the first floor as he pleased so long as he was supervised (no running, climbing stairs, or jumping though).

We were encouraged after the first week to start increasing our walking time. I bought a pet stroller so that when he got tired (he would let me know by just sitting down) I could pop him in and continue to walk Faith. Some days he walked 5 minutes and sometimes he would hardly want to walk at all, which was fine.

He did have a few days where he seemed pretty sore and didn't want to walk at all, and in that case our surgeon told us to restrict him for about 48 hours and move him as little as possible (so, no walks) and then start slowly again.

He lifted his leg for the first time less than a week after his surgery. He was also "set free" from any kind of restriction 6 weeks after the op.

I seem to be the only person that I've heard that was encouraged to exercise his muscles as tolerated, and I'm wondering if that maybe played a factor in how he is today. He moves great and unless you were a breeder and knew everything about cavalier movement, you would never even be able to tell he had a surgery. That might also be because he was young too?

For those of you who have gone through this experience, what have your surgeons said? I'm just wondering why the advice I was given vs the advice I have heard seems so different?

Just FYI I did go through a board certified orthopaedic surgeon who had been doing the op for many years.