Message Number: FHL14843 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2012-02-22 17:25:52 UTC
Subject: Re: [ferrethealth] Luxating Patella

An elbow or hip can be pinned (and you can find elbow pinning info in the separate FHL Archives) or otherwise tackled if the damage is not too severe, worse come to worse, i.e. self-healing is not possible but the injury is not extreme, but the patella (knee cap -- aptly named) is already a somewhat floating bone above where the femur (the upper leg bone) articulates with the tibia (the medial -- inner leg -- and larger lower leg bone) and the fibula (the thin and lateral -- outer leg -- lower leg bone. Think of it as a sort of helmet (cap) for that part of the joint. Depending on which way it is sliding out of place it can make it both difficult and painful to bend the leg past a certain angle, so flat surfaces are better than uneven ones.

I do NOT know if removal of the patella is a possibility. It would leave the joint capsule more vulnerable so even if it is a possibility it might not be a good one.

What I do know is that in humans if it is not terribly extreme it repairs somewhat gradually over time, and people who get used to it can gently relocate their own with soft pats knocking it till it is a decent position. I do NOT know if a person can safely and gently shift the patella in a ferret with fingers after hands on training by a vet, but I do know that in dogs they can learn ways of holding their legs which can help shift it into a better place, though I am sure that depends also on the degree of floating by the kneecap.

Sukie (not a vet)

Recommended ferret health links:
all ferret topics:

"All hail the procrastinators for they shall rule the world tomorrow."
(2010, Steve Crandall)

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