Clinical and radiographic findings, treatment, and outcome in cattle with osteochondrosis: 29 cases (1986–1996)

Steven S. Trostle From the Department of Surgical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706-1106.

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 DVM, MS
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Robert G. Nicoll From the Department of Surgical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706-1106.

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 BScVet, BVSc
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Lisa J. Forrest From the Department of Surgical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706-1106.

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Mark D. Markel From the Department of Surgical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706-1106.

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 DVM, PhD

Objective

To summarize the radiographic and clinical findings, treatment, and outcome in cattle with osteochondrosis diagnosed radiographically.

Design

Retrospective case series.

Sample Population

29 cattle with radiographic evidence of osteochondrosis.

Procedures

Medical records were reviewed, and owners or referring veterinarians were contacted for outcome assessment. Data were analyzed for potential interactions between osteochondrosis classification (osteochondritis dessicans vs subchondral cyst-like lesions), clinical and radiographic findings, treatment, and outcome, using Fisher’s exact test and descriptive statistics.

Results

Osteochondrosis was associated with young, male, purebred cattle, clinical evidence of lameness, and radiographic evidence of concurrent degenerative joint disease. Osteochondritis dissecans and subchondral cyst-like lesions had similar clinical findings and outcomes but varied significantly in their radiographic distribution among joints. Osteochondrosis often manifests clinically as a unilateral condition, but bilateral lesions were often found (88%) when limbs were radiographically examined. Cattle managed conservatively tended to be culled (within 6 months of diagnosis because of lameness) more often than those managed surgically, despite the lack of treatment bias.

Clinical Implications

Osteochondrosis in cattle is often associated with lameness or degenerative joint disease. Conservative management does not result in a favorable clinical prognosis for long-term, lameness-free survival, and more studies need to be completed to evaluate the efficacy of surgical treatment of osteochondrosis in cattle. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:1566–1570)

Objective

To summarize the radiographic and clinical findings, treatment, and outcome in cattle with osteochondrosis diagnosed radiographically.

Design

Retrospective case series.

Sample Population

29 cattle with radiographic evidence of osteochondrosis.

Procedures

Medical records were reviewed, and owners or referring veterinarians were contacted for outcome assessment. Data were analyzed for potential interactions between osteochondrosis classification (osteochondritis dessicans vs subchondral cyst-like lesions), clinical and radiographic findings, treatment, and outcome, using Fisher’s exact test and descriptive statistics.

Results

Osteochondrosis was associated with young, male, purebred cattle, clinical evidence of lameness, and radiographic evidence of concurrent degenerative joint disease. Osteochondritis dissecans and subchondral cyst-like lesions had similar clinical findings and outcomes but varied significantly in their radiographic distribution among joints. Osteochondrosis often manifests clinically as a unilateral condition, but bilateral lesions were often found (88%) when limbs were radiographically examined. Cattle managed conservatively tended to be culled (within 6 months of diagnosis because of lameness) more often than those managed surgically, despite the lack of treatment bias.

Clinical Implications

Osteochondrosis in cattle is often associated with lameness or degenerative joint disease. Conservative management does not result in a favorable clinical prognosis for long-term, lameness-free survival, and more studies need to be completed to evaluate the efficacy of surgical treatment of osteochondrosis in cattle. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:1566–1570)

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