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Comparison of tibial plateau angles in dogs with and without cranial cruciate ligament injuries

Ethan Morris DVM1 and Alan J. Lipowitz DVM, MS, DACVS2
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  • 1 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55108.
  • | 2 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55108.

Abstract

Objective—To measure and compare tibial plateau angles (TPA) of dogs with cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL) injuries and dogs without CrCL injuries.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—87 dogs.

Procedure—Stifle joints were measured from lateral radiographic views to determine TPA in 3 groups: group-1 dogs had CrCL injuries, group-1a dogs, a subgroup of group 1, had 1 unaffected stifle joint, and group-2 dogs had no CrCL injuries. Age, sex, breed, body weight, limb injured, and TPA were recorded for each dog.

Results—56 stifle joints were measured in group-1 dogs; mean TPA was 23.76°, and mean age and weight were 5.7 years and 37.91 kg (83.4 lb), respectively. Fourteen stifle joints were measured in group-1a dogs; mean TPA was 24.71°, and mean age and weight were 5.6 years and 38.06 kg (83.8 lb), respectively. Sixty stifle joints were measured in group-2 dogs; mean TPA was 18.10°, and mean age and weight of these dogs were 4.83 years and 35.85 kg (79 lb), respectively. The most common breeds included Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, and Rottweiler. The TPA of dogs in group 1 and group 1a were significantly greater than the TPA of dogs in group 2.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dogs with CrCL injuries have a significantly greater TPA than dogs without CrCL injury. With further investigation, a normal TPA can be determined. In the future, TPA measurements may be used to screen dogs suspected of being susceptible to CrCL injury. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:363–366)