Tuesday 17th Dec, 2019
Coco’s X-rays did show a very small change which was a lateral bipartitie fabellae, meaning the small bone adjacent to the lateral condyle of the femur was in two parts – not one as it would usually be.
Are bipartite fabella common?
One study identified deformity of the lateral fabellae in 4.6% of dogs, slightly less common than in the medial fabellae where 6.9% of fabellae were abnormal.
Interestingly, nearly all cases of displacement or deformity of the fabella occurred in dogs weighing less than 10kg.
Are bipartite fabella relevant?
Bipartitie fabellae themselves are not a definite cause for lameness, but what is more likely to be relevant is the correlation between abnormal fabellae and other orthopaedic disorders.
In the study mentioned above, which was carrried out in Japan, had shown nearly all abnormal fabellae were in dogs of less than 10kgs, and there was a close association with medial patellar luxation and to a lesser extent with cranial cruciate ligament rupture.
What did we do for Coco?
By the time Coco came in to discuss the X-ray findings, his lameness had fully resolved, and there was no stifle effusion, nor focal discomfort over the fabellae. There was still a Grade 1 medial patella luxation, but with no lameness, we did not feel any justification to progress to surgery.
However, Coco's owners were advised that there was a Grade 1 medial patella luxation, and that it may be that this progresses in time and may require surgical management. At five-years-old, and with a sprint in his step, this is, however, unlikely.
Did you know that we do Fixed Price Fix Surgery for Patella Luxation?
Yasukawa S, Edamura K, Tanegashima K, Kai H, Higuchi G, Nagasawa M, Teshima K, Asano K, Nakayama T.(2016): Epidemiologic study of dogs with the displacement of deformity of the medial and lateral fabella in Japan. Jpn J Vet Res, 64, 39-49