Clinical and Radiographic Evaluation of Short- and Long-Term Outcomes of Different Treatments Adopted for Elbow Medial Compartment Disease in Dogs

Daniele Serrani, Sara Sassaroli, Francesco Gallorini, Alberto Salvaggio, Adolfo Maria Tambella, Ilaria Biagioli, Angela Palumbo Piccionello
Vet Sci. 2022 Feb 7;9(2):70. doi: 10.3390/vetsci9020070.

Medial compartment disease is a common occurrence in dogs affected by elbow dysplasia. Despite many treatments suggested in the literature, only few studies reported comparative outcomes in the short and long term. The aim of this study is to report and compare short- and long-term clinical and radiographic outcomes of dogs treated for medial compartment disease (MCD) by distal dynamic ulnar ostectomy (DUO), bi-oblique dynamic proximal ulnar osteotomy (BODPUO) and conservative management (CM).

From 2016 to 2018, all medium to large dogs, aged between 5 and 12 months, affected by uni/bilateral MCD and treated by DUO, BODPUO or CM, were enrolled in this study and followed up for 24 months. Orthopedic and radiographic examinations were performed at T0, T2, T12 and T24 months after treatment. Lameness score, elbow arthralgia, elbow range of motion (ROM), osteoarthritis (OA) score and percentage of ulnar subtrochlear sclerosis (%STS) were evaluated at each time point. According to the treatment performed, dogs were divided into three groups: DUO, BODPUO and CM. Forty-five elbows from twenty-six dogs, treated with DUO (n = 17), BODPUO (n = 17) or CM (n = 11), were prospectively enrolled in the study. The patients enrolled in the CM group were older and showed more severe radiographic signs of OA, compared to those enrolled in the other two groups.

Lameness and arthralgia scores (p < 10-4) were significantly decreased in patients that underwent surgical treatment and increased in patients managed conservatively (lameness p < 10-4, arthralgia p = 0.3068), at T12 and T24. OA score (p < 0.0040) and ROM (DUO, CM p < 10-4; BODPUO p = 0.0740) worsened in every study group, but %STS decreased in DUO (p = 0.0108), increased in the CM group (p = 0.0025) and remained unchanged in the BODPUO group (p = 0.2740).

This study supports the clinical efficacy of DUO and BODPUO in reducing lameness, arthralgia and progression of %STS. Early diagnosis and surgical attention in patients affected by MCD can improve the short- and long-term outcome and reduce the progression of secondary changes.

Keywords: bi-oblique proximal ulnar osteotomy; distal ulnar ostectomy; elbow dysplasia; medial coronoid disease; subtrochlear sclerosis.

Small animal: