Objective—To determine the association between the 3-dimensional (3-D) motion pattern of the caudal lumbar and lumbosacral portions of the canine vertebral column and the morphology of vertebrae, facet joints, and intervertebral disks.
Sample Population—Vertebral columns of 9 German Shepherd Dogs and 16 dogs of other breeds with similar body weights and body conditions.
Procedure—Different morphometric parameters of the vertebral column were assessed by computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging. Anatomic conformation and the 3-D motion pattern were compared, and correlation coefficients were calculated.
Results—Total range of motion for flexion and extension was mainly associated with the facet joint angle, the facet joint angle difference between levels of the vertebral column in the transverse plane on CT images, disk height, and lever arm length.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Motion is a complex process that is influenced by the entire 3-D conformation of the lumbar portion of the vertebral column. In vivo dynamic measurements of the 3-D motion pattern of the lumbar and lumbosacral portions of the vertebral column will be necessary to further assess biomechanics that could lead to disk degeneration in dogs.