Canine developmental elbow disease part 1: aetiopathogenesis and diagnosis

Rosanne Fernee-Hall, Jan Janovec
Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Elbow dysplasia or ‘developmental elbow disease’ as it is now known, is an umbrella term encompassing multiple abnormalities of the elbow joint. These include elbow incongruity, fragmented medial coronoid process, osteochondritis dissecans and ununited anconeal process. These problems may occur individually or in combination with each other and all may cause lameness, pain, reluctance to exercise and restricted movement as the disease progresses. The advanced stage of osteoarthritis associated with medial coronoid disease involving extensive damage to or loss of cartilage is known as medial compartment disease. There are multiple modalities available for imaging the elbow joint: radiography which is widely available in general practice can detect some changes but may miss others; computed tomography in conjunction with arthroscopic examination is considered the ‘gold standard’ in elbow imaging. Part 1 of this two part series of articles introduces the aetiopathogenesis of canine developmental elbow disease, and part 2 will cover the surgical and nonsurgical management.

Figure 1. Arthroscopic view of fragmented medial coronoid process (FCP) lesion.
Figure 1. Arthroscopic view of fragmented medial coronoid process (FCP) lesion.

Image courtesy of Alan Danielski.

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