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Evaluation of the radiographic infrapatellar fat pad sign of the contralateral stifle joint as a risk factor for subsequent contralateral cranial cruciate ligament rupture in dogs with unilateral rupture: 96 cases (2006–2007)

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  • 1 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
  • | 3 Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group, 2199 Sperry Ave, Ventura, CA 93003
  • | 4 Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group, 2199 Sperry Ave, Ventura, CA 93003
  • | 5 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616
  • | 6 Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616
  • | 7 Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group, 2199 Sperry Ave, Ventura, CA 93003
  • | 8 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616

Abstract

Objective—To determine prevalence of the contralateral radiographic infrapatellar fat pad sign and contralateral radiographic degenerative sign (degenerative changes) and evaluate both signs as risk factors for subsequent contralateral cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL) rupture in dogs with unilateral CrCL rupture.

Design—Retrospective cohort study.

Animals—96 dogs with unilateral CrCL rupture and 22 dogs with bilateral CrCL rupture.

Procedures—Dogs with unilateral CrCL rupture were classified as having normal (n = 84) or abnormal (12) contralateral stifle joints on the basis of joint palpation. Associations between potential predictive variables and rates of subsequent contralateral CrCL rupture were evaluated.

Results—Of the 84 dogs with unilateral CrCL rupture in which the contralateral stifle joint was palpably normal, 29 (34.5%) had a contralateral fat pad sign and 31 (36.9%) had a degenerative sign. All dogs with unilateral CrCL rupture in which the contralateral stifle joint was palpably abnormal had a contralateral fat pad sign and degenerative sign. The contralateral fat pad sign was the most important risk factor for subsequent rupture of the contralateral CrCL. For dogs with unilateral CrCL rupture and palpably normal contralateral stifle joint with and without a contralateral fat pad sign, median time to subsequent rupture was 421 and 1,688 days, respectively, and the 3-year probability of subsequent rupture was 85.3% and 24.9%, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Bilateral stifle joint radiography should be performed for all dogs with CrCL rupture. Bilateral stifle joint arthroscopy should be considered for dogs with a contralateral fat pad sign.

Abstract

Objective—To determine prevalence of the contralateral radiographic infrapatellar fat pad sign and contralateral radiographic degenerative sign (degenerative changes) and evaluate both signs as risk factors for subsequent contralateral cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL) rupture in dogs with unilateral CrCL rupture.

Design—Retrospective cohort study.

Animals—96 dogs with unilateral CrCL rupture and 22 dogs with bilateral CrCL rupture.

Procedures—Dogs with unilateral CrCL rupture were classified as having normal (n = 84) or abnormal (12) contralateral stifle joints on the basis of joint palpation. Associations between potential predictive variables and rates of subsequent contralateral CrCL rupture were evaluated.

Results—Of the 84 dogs with unilateral CrCL rupture in which the contralateral stifle joint was palpably normal, 29 (34.5%) had a contralateral fat pad sign and 31 (36.9%) had a degenerative sign. All dogs with unilateral CrCL rupture in which the contralateral stifle joint was palpably abnormal had a contralateral fat pad sign and degenerative sign. The contralateral fat pad sign was the most important risk factor for subsequent rupture of the contralateral CrCL. For dogs with unilateral CrCL rupture and palpably normal contralateral stifle joint with and without a contralateral fat pad sign, median time to subsequent rupture was 421 and 1,688 days, respectively, and the 3-year probability of subsequent rupture was 85.3% and 24.9%, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Bilateral stifle joint radiography should be performed for all dogs with CrCL rupture. Bilateral stifle joint arthroscopy should be considered for dogs with a contralateral fat pad sign.

Contributor Notes

All cases were from the Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group. Radiographic measurements, statistical analysis, and manuscript preparation were performed at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Presented in poster form at the 39th Annual Veterinary Orthopedic Society Conference, Crested Butte, Colo, March 2012.

Address correspondence to Dr. Fuller (markfullerdvm@gmail.com).