Goniometrie evaluation of standing extension and maximum flexion joint angles of llamas and alpacas

Amy L. Walters Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331.

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Stacy A. Semevolos Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331.

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Rose E. Baker Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine and compare mean standing extension and maximum flexion angles of various joints in healthy adult alpacas and llamas, and determine the reliability of goniometric data within and between 2 observers for each joint of interest.

SAMPLE 6 healthy adult llamas and 6 healthy adult alpacas.

PROCEDURES The shoulder joint, elbow joint, carpal, and metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints of the forelimbs and the hip joint, stifle joint, tarsal, and metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints of the hind limbs were investigated. Each articulation was measured with a universal goniometer by 2 observers, who each obtained 2 measurements when each joint was maintained in standing extension and in maximal passive flexion. Two sample (unpaired) t tests were performed for comparisons of mean standing extension and maximum passive flexion angles between alpacas and llamas. Intraclass correlation coefficients were calculated for each articulation to assess interobserver and intra-observer reliability of measurements.

RESULTS Llamas had larger mean standing extension angles than alpacas for the tarsal and elbow joint, but there were no significant differences between species for all other joints. For all joints, flexion measurements did not differ significantly between the 2 species. For most joints, the reliability of goniometric data between observers was good to excellent (intraclass correlation coefficients, 0.6 to 0.95)

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Except for the elbow joint and tarsus in extension, the angle of limb articulations during flexion and extension can be considered similar for alpacas and llamas. These measurements have relevance for veterinary surgeons when assessing joint mobility and conformation and determining appropriate angles for arthrodesis.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine and compare mean standing extension and maximum flexion angles of various joints in healthy adult alpacas and llamas, and determine the reliability of goniometric data within and between 2 observers for each joint of interest.

SAMPLE 6 healthy adult llamas and 6 healthy adult alpacas.

PROCEDURES The shoulder joint, elbow joint, carpal, and metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints of the forelimbs and the hip joint, stifle joint, tarsal, and metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints of the hind limbs were investigated. Each articulation was measured with a universal goniometer by 2 observers, who each obtained 2 measurements when each joint was maintained in standing extension and in maximal passive flexion. Two sample (unpaired) t tests were performed for comparisons of mean standing extension and maximum passive flexion angles between alpacas and llamas. Intraclass correlation coefficients were calculated for each articulation to assess interobserver and intra-observer reliability of measurements.

RESULTS Llamas had larger mean standing extension angles than alpacas for the tarsal and elbow joint, but there were no significant differences between species for all other joints. For all joints, flexion measurements did not differ significantly between the 2 species. For most joints, the reliability of goniometric data between observers was good to excellent (intraclass correlation coefficients, 0.6 to 0.95)

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Except for the elbow joint and tarsus in extension, the angle of limb articulations during flexion and extension can be considered similar for alpacas and llamas. These measurements have relevance for veterinary surgeons when assessing joint mobility and conformation and determining appropriate angles for arthrodesis.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Semevolos (stacy.semevolos@oregonstate.edu).
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