Objective: This study aimed to evaluate frequency, location and severity of cartilage pathology in dogs with naturally occurring cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) disease.
Study design: Stifle arthroscopic video recordings (n = 120) were reviewed. A modified Outerbridge classification system (MOCS) (0-4) was used to score cartilage at 10 locations in the femorotibial (medial and lateral femoral condyles and tibial plateaus) and patellofemoral compartments (proximal, middle and distal locations of the patella and femoral trochlear groove) of the stifle joint. Synovial pathology was scored and the presence of a medial meniscal tear was recorded. A Kruskal-Wallis test was used to evaluate association of location and synovitis with cartilage score; and presence of meniscal tear with cartilage and synovitis scores. Bonferroni correction was utilized and p < 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Cartilage pathology and synovitis were identified in all joints. Overall cartilage severity scores were low (median MOCS 1). The median MOCS of the proximal trochlear groove (2) was significantly higher than all other locations evaluated. Higher synovitis scores were significantly associated with higher cartilage severity scores and a medial meniscal tear had no association with cartilage severity scores or synovitis.
Conclusion: Arthroscopic articular cartilage lesions are common in dogs with CCL disease at the time of surgical intervention, although the severity of cartilage damage is mild. The proximal trochlear groove of the femur had the most severe cartilage score in the stifle joint.