Friday 26th Jul, 2019
Patella fractures are rare and what is important is to consider why they occur and decide on the best option for treating them.
In contrast to dogs where trauma is the most common cause of patella fracture, in cats they appear to most commonly be atraumatic and stress fractures. They often occur spontaneously with the contralateral patella fracturing 2-3mths after the first.
What did we do?
There were reports of repairing these fractures with pins, or pins and wire (with the wire either around the patella, or figure-of-8 around a pin placed through the patella). Whilst a good plan, many of these fractures did not heal with this method, instead re-fracturing due to brittle bone.
So, for KT - especially as such a small and minimally displaced fracture, we treated it conservatively. KT’s lameness rapidly resolved within 10days, and X-rays performed after 4 weeks showed that the fracture, while not healed, was stable within the extensor musculature: remaining at the same distance from the patella through flexion and extension.
What causes spontaneous fractures in cats - KaTs?
Recently, an underlying bone or connective tissue disease is suspected in cats with patellar fractures which also have persistent deciduous teeth. For ease of discussion and case recruitment the disease has been termed knees and teeth syndrome or KaTS.
How is KT?
KT is doing great and we will monitor him to see whether his teeth develop normally and keep a close eye on his other patella.
He is no longer a kitten, but is perhaps a KaTs?
Further information on KaTS can be found here