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Luxating Patella Repair Procedure Aftercare

Your pet has undergone an orthopedic surgical procedure known as a luxating patella repair. Prior to the procedure, your pet received a full examination by their veterinarian and will have had bloodwork done if requested.

​About the procedure

The luxating patella repair is a procedure that involves the surgical correction of the patella (kneecap) that may be sliding out of the joint on movement. To put this simply, the kneecap is dislocating on movement and, depending on the grade of the luxation, will need surgical repair which will be advised by your veterinarian. The usual procedure time is 1.5 - 2 hours. 


When you collect your pet, they may be quite sleepy following their anaesthetic and procedure. You may offer them a small meal after they have settled in at home. We recommend offering about 1/3 of the size of their usual dinner. Do not be concerned if your pet does not show interest in their food on the first night after their procedure; the main reason they may not be interested in food is possible nausea from the anaesthetic, and/or drowsiness.

Luxating Patella Repair Recovery

Patients will generally begin weight bearing on the limb within the first 24 hours post procedure. We generally allow 12-16 weeks for full recovery with frequent rechecks.

If a bandage has been placed after surgery, this will be removed 4-5 days following. Suture removal is 10-14 days after surgery. The veterinarian will re-assess the joint and mobility at this time and will advise accordingly. Please book a time with a nurse for the respective treatments.

Strict rest is instructed for the first 2 weeks post surgery (either a crate or refined to a small area). No jumping or excessive movement and strict leash restraint for toilet breaks. 

Exercise will be gradually increased as advised by your veterinarian (please do not adjust these increments yourself as this may delay recovery). 

Pain relief and antibiotic medication will be dispensed for administration at home. A nurse will go through the administration instructions at discharge and if you have any questions, please contact the clinic.

Please check the surgical site daily, and watch for any abnormal changes.

If your pet has any other aftercare requirements specific to their procedure, and you are unsure, please do not hesitate to contact the clinic and ask.


You should contact the clinic if:

  • The surgical site becomes quite red, swollen, or is bleeding (a very small amount of blood is ok).

  • Your pet is overly lethargic, vomiting or reluctant to eat by the following morning.

  • You feel your pet may be in pain.

  • Your pet is licking/chewing at the surgical site. In this case they may require an Elizabethan Collar (cone) to prevent this.

  • If you have any questions about medications.

  • If you have any other concerns.

Take away points

  • Please offer a small amount of food (1/3 of their usual meal size) the night of the procedure.

  • Do not be concerned if your pet is not interest in food on the first night.

  • There may be bandage to be removed.

  • There are sutures that need to be removed 10-14 days post operation. 

  • Your pet will have take home medications.

  • Keep your pet in a warm environment.

  • Please keep your pet quiet over the recovery period as instructed by staff.

  • Check the surgical site daily.

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