Radiographic findings of the medial humeral epicondyle in 200 canine elbow joints

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de Bakker E, Saunders J, Gielen I, et al.

Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 2012;25:359-365.

Objectives: To determine the frequency and radiographic aspect of medial humeral epicondylar lesions as a primary or concomitant finding and to evaluate the association with osteoarthritis. Methods: Medical records of dogs diagnosed with elbow lameness were reviewed. Inclusion criteria for this study were a complete clinical examination, a complete set of digital radiographs and a final diagnosis made by computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging and arthroscopy. Changes of the medial humeral epicondyle were recorded and correlated with the radiographic osteoarthritis and final diagnosis. Results: Eighty of the 200 elbows showed changes of the medial humeral epicondyle. In 12 of these 80 elbows, changes of the medial epicondyle were the only findings within the joint, and these elbows were diagnosed with primary flexor enthesopathy. In the remaining 68 elbows, other concomitant elbow pathologies were found. In those cases of concomitant epicondylar changes, high grades of osteoarthritis were recorded, while most elbows with primary flexor enthesopathy showed a low grade of osteoarthritis. Clinical significance: Changes of the medial humeral epicondyle are often considered clinically unimportant and are regarded as an expression of osteoarthritis. This study showed the relatively frequent presence of epicondylar changes of which the majority were considered concomitant to a primary elbow problem. If changes of the medial humeral epicondyle are the only pathologic finding (primary flexor enthesopathy) they should be considered as the cause of lameness and not as a sign of osteoarthritis.