Objective—To develop a model for measuring rotary stability of the canine elbow joint and to evaluate the relative contribution of the anconeal process (AN), lateral collateral ligament (LCL), and medial collateral ligament (MCL).
Sample Population—18 forelimbs from 12 canine cadavers.
Procedure—Forelimbs were allocated to 3 experimental groups (6 forelimbs/group). Each intact forelimb was placed in extension at an angle of 135° and cycled 50 times from –16° (pronation) to +28° (supination) in a continuous manner at 2.0 Hz. Cycling was repeated following sectioning of the structure of interest (group 1, AN; group 2, LCL; and group 3, MCL). Torque at –12° (pronation) and +18° (supination) was measured for each intact and experimentally sectioned limb. A Student t test was performed to compare torque values obtained from intact verses experimentally sectioned limbs and for comparison with established criteria for differentiation of primary (≥ 33%), secondary (10 to 33%), and tertiary rotational stabilizers (< 10%).
Results—In pronation, the AN was the only primary stabilizer (65%). For supination, the LCL was a primary stabilizer (48%), AN was a secondary stabilizer (24%), and MCL was a tertiary stabilizer (7%).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—With the elbow joint in extension at an angle of 135°, the AN is a primary rotational stabilizer in pronation, and the LCL is a primary stabilizer in supination. Disruption of the AN or LCL may affect rotary range of motion or compromise stability of the elbow joint in dogs. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1520–1526)