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Radiographic and Computed Tomographic Evaluation of the Canine Intercondylar Fossa in Normal Stifles and after Notchplasty in Stable and Unstable Stifles

Fitch R.B., Hathcock J.T. and Montgomery R.D.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound, 1996. 37(4): p.266-274.

The role of the intercondylar fossa in cranial cruciate ligament injury has gained notable attention in humans and it's role is now being questioned in animals. Controversy exists regarding the accuracy of radiographs and computed tomography (CT) in evaluating the intercondylar fossa. This study compared radiographic and CT evaluation with gross evaluation of the intercondylar fossa. Six greyhounds were evaluated before notchplasty, immediately after notchplasty and 6 months after notchplasty in stable and unstable stifles. A fossa width index was used for comparison because it negates the effects of patient size and radiographic magnification. The fossa width index is calculated by dividing the width of the intercondylar fossa by the total condylar width. The fossa width indices of dogs determined from radiographs and CT were not significantly different before notchplasty except for the cranial fossa width indices which were more inconsistent and tended to underestimate the size when compared to gross measurements. At six months, both stable and unstable stifles had refilling of the notchplasty, but the unstable stifles had significantly greater refilling resulting in no significant enlargement in intercondylar fossa size as compared to the prenotchplasty size. Osteophytes that occurred within the intercondylar fossa were less radiopaque and more easily visualized by computed tomography. Computed tomography provided several advantages, including clearer visualization of the intercondylar fossa, avoiding superimposition of the intercondylar fossa by caudal thigh muscles or tuber ischii and the ability to analyze the cranial and caudal components of the intercondylar fossa separately.