Objectives The main purpose of this study was to describe the relationship between patellar maximal craniocaudal thickness and femoral trochlear groove depth in normal dogs and to valuate the intra-observer or inter-observer variability of maximal trochlear depth and maximal patellar craniocaudal thickness using computed tomography.
Methods Trochlear groove depth and patellar maximal craniocaudal thickness of 40 limbs (20 dogs) were measured by three independent veterinarians using three-dimensional multiplanar reconstruction computed tomography images. The patellar maximal craniocaudal thickness/trochlear depth ratio was determined.
Results The mean ratio of these stifles was 0.46 (range 0.24–0.70), meaning that the mean maximal depth of the trochlea was 46% of the mean maximal-patellar thickness.
Clinical Significance A wide range of maximal–patellar–craniocaudal–thickness/maximal trochlear-depth ratio was found suggesting that breed studies should be performed to determine a breed-specific patellar-thickness/trochlear-depth ratio. To make decisions on when and where to perform a sulcoplasty during patellar luxation surgery, patella/trochlea thickness relationship should be measured for each breed with patellar tracking from stifle hyperflexion to stifle hyperextension.