(link to the beginning of Article)This might also go some distance in explaining why the corrective surgery in many cases fails to resolve the lameness in the short or long term.
What I have come to believe based upon years of treating these cases is that the true condition expresses itself most commonly before the age of one and is associated with the congenital deformities that afflict these toy and miniature breeds. However, in pets who suddenly come up lame mid or later in life and are diagnosed with luxating patellae, I contend that these in fact are cases of mistaken identity. That is, an incorrect diagnosis of the true source of the contemporary lameness is made, in favor of a convenient, if incorrect patellar scapegoat. I suppose it is not too dissimilar to the dog with back pain evidencing some degenerative change in the spine on x-ray, who is subsequently given the diagnosis of arthritis. This is another case of mistaken identity. How do I know this you ask? Simple…when I correct the spinal derangement the pain is eliminated yet I have not altered the appearance of degenerative change on x-ray. This is exactly what I have found in many of the luxating patellae cases. The actual culprit in these pets is a “pinched nerve” coming from the spine causing “doggy sciatica” aka: “Root Signature.” So in these cases the pet has two conditions concurrently. Long standing luxating patellae that in many cases is asymptomatic and a symptomatic pinched nerve. Again, how do I know? Simple…I correct the spinal derangement, thereby decompressing the nerve and the lameness ceases without dealing at all with the patellar anomaly. What you might call prima facie evidence of finding the culprit in a neuromusculosketal “who done it.”
So for the sake of your companion, before you accede to recommendation for immediate surgical intervention, please rule out a pinched nerve causing the sudden lameness.