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Fracture of the Patella after TPLO in 6 Dogs


  • Scott Rutherford BVMS, CertSAS,

    Corresponding author
    • Croft Veterinary Hospital, Cramlington, Northumberland, United Kingdom
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  • Jonathan C. Bell BVM&S, CertSAS Diplomate ECVS,

  • Malcolm G. Ness BVetMed, CertSAO, FRCVS, Diplomate ECVS

Corresponding Author

Scott Rutherford, BVMS CertSAS MRCVS, Croft Veterinary Hospital, Northumberland Business Park West, Cramlington, Northumberland NE23 7RH, United Kingdom




To describe the clinical findings of dogs that sustained patellar fractures after tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO).

Study Design

Retrospective case series.


Dogs with patellar fractures that occurred after TPLO surgery (n = 6).


Medical records (November 1, 2008–October 31, 2010) were reviewed to identify dogs with patellar fracture occurring after TPLO.


Six of 305 (2%) dogs had a patellar fracture after TPLO; 5 dogs were clinically lame when the fracture was diagnosed and all had radiographic evidence of patellar tendon thickening. All dogs were treated nonsurgically. In 2 dogs where follow-up radiographs were available there was no evidence of fracture union. No dog had a persistent lameness.


Fracture of the patella is an uncommon complication of TPLO surgery. Nonsurgical management can provide a satisfactory functional outcome.