Objective—To evaluate cartilage thickness of the talus (especially at sites predisposed to osteochondrosis dissecans [OCD]) in growing and adult dogs not affected with OCD.
Sample—Tarsocrural joints from cadavers of 34 juvenile (approx 3 months old) and 10 adult dogs.
Procedures—Tarsal cartilage thickness was examined via a stereophotography microscopic system. Articular cartilage thickness was determined at 11 locations on longitudinal slices of the trochlear ridges and the sulcus between the ridges and at 2 locations in the cochlea tibiae. Cartilage thickness was measured at the proximal, proximodorsal, dorsal, and distal aspects of the trochlear ridges; proximodorsal, dorsal, and distal aspects of the trochlear sulcus; and craniolateral and caudomedial aspects of the cochlea tibiae. Differences within a joint and between sexes were evaluated.
Results—Mean cartilage thickness decreased from proximal to distal in juvenile (lateral trochlear ridge, 1.52 to 0.41 mm; medial trochlear ridge, 1.10 to 0.40 mm) and from proximal to dorsal in adult (lateral trochlear ridge, 0.41 to 0.34 mm; medial trochlear ridge, 0.33 to 0.23 mm) dogs. Cartilage was thickest at the proximal aspect of the lateral trochlear ridge in both groups. Differences in proximodorsal, dorsal, and distal aspects of the ridges were not evident.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Healthy tarsocrural joints did not have thicker cartilage in sites predisposed to development of OCD. Evaluation of affected tarsocrural joints is necessary to exclude influences of cartilage thickness. These data are useful as a reference for distribution of cartilage thickness of the trochlea of the talus in dogs.