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  • Author or Editor: Chris A. Preston x
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Objective—To evaluate areas of articular contact of the proximal portions of the radius and ulna in normal elbow joints of dogs and the effects of axial load on size and location of these areas.

Sample Population—Forelimbs obtained from cadavers of 5 adult mixed-breed dogs.

Procedure—After forelimbs were removed, liquidphase polymethyl methacrylate was applied to articular surfaces of the elbow joint, and limbs were axially loaded. Articular regions void of casting material were stained with water-soluble paint. Relative articular contact areas were determined by computer-assisted image analyses of stained specimens. Repeatability of the technique was evaluated by analyses of casts from bilateral forelimbs of 1 cadaver. Incremental axial loads were applied to left forelimbs from 4 cadavers to determine effects of load on articular contact.

Results—Specific areas of articular contact were identified on the radius, the craniolateral aspect of the anconeus, and the medial coronoid process. The medial coronoid and radial contact areas were continuous across the radioulnar articulation. There was no articular contact of the medial aspect of the anconeus with the central trochlear notch. Coefficients of variation of contact areas between repeated tests and between contralateral limbs was < 20%. Significant overall effects of axial load on contact area or location were not identified.

Conclusions—Three distinct contact areas were evident in the elbow joint of dogs. Two ulnar contact areas were detected, suggesting there may be physiologic incongruity of the humeroulnar joint. There was no evidence of surface incongruity between the medial edge of the radial head and the lateral edge of the medial coronoid process. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61: 1315–1321)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine effects of incremental radial shortening and subsequent ulnar ostectomies on joint surface contact patterns in a canine elbow joint model.

Sample Population—Paired forelimbs from 9 adult dogs.

Procedure—Joint casting was performed by placement of colored polymethylmethacrylate in the elbow joint cavity and loading in a materials testing system at physiologic angle and load. Joint casting was performed in unaltered specimens, after radial shortening, and after subsequent distal ulnar ostectomy, proximal ulnar ostectomy, and proximal ulnar ostectomy with intramedullary pinning. Computer-aided analysis of photographs of proximal radial and ulnar articular surfaces without joint casts was performed before and after each casting procedure.

Results—All increments of radial shortening changed the size and location of radial and ulnar contact areas. The radial contact area became smaller, the anconeal contact area disappeared, the medial coronoid contact area migrated craniolaterally, and the lateral projection of the coronoid process became a contact area. A proximal ulnar ostectomy stabilized with an intramedullary pin restored normal contact area size and location and restored continuity of the radial and coronoid contact areas across the radioulnar articulation in 6 of 10 specimens. A midshaft ulnar ostectomy, distal to the level of the radioulnar ligament, had no effect on contact patterns. A proximal ulnar ostectomy without stabilization resulted in varus deformity during loading.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Proximal radial shortening, which creates articular step incongruity, changes the location and size of the radioulnar contact areas. Dynamically stabilized ulnar ostectomies proximal to the radioulnar ligament restore contact patterns in vitro . (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1548–1556)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research