Ernie’s naughty knee!


Ernie the Yorkshire terrier, was 3 years old, when he arrived at Northwest Surgeons for assessment of problem in his right back leg. It had started with intermittent limping but after that, the lameness was persistent and would not resolve even with anti-inflammatory drugs. The lameness was caused by a condition called medial patellar luxation. This is a condition where the patella, the kneecap, slips out of the groove, towards the inside of the knee, effectively a dislocating kneecap. This can be intermittent or in some cases the kneecap can stay out of the groove, which is what was happening to Ernie.

X-rays were taken and surgery was planned to improve the tracking of his kneecap. Patellar surgery involved moving the front part of the top of the shin bone, (tibial tuberosity transposition) which was held in place with a pin and wire. This improved the alignment of the kneecap tracking, a vitally important part of the surgery. The groove was also too shallow and this was deepened (wedge recession sulcoplasty) to allow the kneecap to sit in the groove better. The joint capsule was tightened at the end of the procedure. Ernie recovered well from surgery and following a period of confinement to allow the joint tissues and bone to heal he was out on lead walks again after six weeks.

Ernie recovered well from his surgery and he after the condition appeared in the left leg, which was also successfully treated, Ernie has never looked back. He is able to run and jump and play with the rest of the dogs in the park.