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Elbow Dysplasia, Elbow Encongruity (ED)

The term elbow dysplasia describes an abnormal development of the elbow joint and represents a group of conditions, including fragmented medial coronoid process, ununited anconeal process, osteochondrosis dissecans, cartilage erosions and joint incongruity. Elbow dysplasia can cause pain and lameness. The exact role of incongruity in the etiology of ED is complex and not yet fully elucidated. Large dog breeds (Bernese Mountain Dog, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Labrador retriever) are predisposed and the first symptoms typically occur between the age of 4 and 8 months. The treatment of ED is medically or surgically, depending on the age, breed and lifestyle, and the expectations and wishes of the caretaker. The type of surgery is based on the diagnosed pathologies in the elbow joint, and can range from internal fixation or removal of a fragment or debridement, and attempts to correct the mismatch. The result of both surgical and non-surgical treatment of ED is often disappointing, with residual or recurrent lameness, and progressive osteoarthritis in all cases.

From AVOM experience, a specific form of elbow incongruity with forelimb lameness is clinically easily diagnosed and treated with very good outcome. AVOM defines this type of elbow incongruity as an exo- or endorotation of the radius in relation to the humerus.