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Radiographic and Computed Tomographic Determination of Femoral Varus and Torsion in the Dog

Robert M. Dudley, Michael P. Kowaleski, Wm Tod Drost, et al.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound, 2006. 47(6): p.546-552.

Diagnosis and quantification of femoral varus and femoral torsion using radiographs is technically challenging due to the difficulty in determining proper positioning. The purpose of this study is to describe a computed tomographic technique for determination of femoral varus and femoral torsion and to compare this technique, and standard radiography, to anatomic preparation, for the measurement of femoral varus and femoral torsion in normal dogs. Nine canine cadavers, visually and radiographically free of orthopedic disease of the hip and stifle joints, were utilized for analysis. Femoral varus was determined using a craniocaudal radiograph, a craniocaudal radiograph obtained after confirming accurate positioning using horizontal beam fluoroscopy, and computed tomography (CT). Femoral torsion (expressed as angle of version) was determined using an axial radiographic projection obtained from distal to proximal and CT. Each femur was dissected free of soft tissues, and direct determination of femoral varus and femoral torsion was performed using digital photographic images. All radiologic and photographic images were digitally measured to quantify the magnitude of femoral varus and femoral torsion. For femoral varus, no difference (P=0.149) between the three different imaging techniques and the anatomic preparation was identified. For femoral torsion, no difference (P=0.059) between the two imaging techniques and the anatomic preparation was identified. Well positioned radiographs and the described computed tomographic method are both as accurate as anatomic preparation for the measurement of both femoral varus and femoral torsion in normal dogs.