Evaluation of lameness associated with arthroscopy or arthrotomy of the normal canine cubital joint

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Virginia Tech


This study compared lameness and post-operative recovery in animals undergoing arthroscopy or arthrotomy of the cubital joint. It was a prospective, randomized, experimental study in which fourteen mature, healthy dogs were evaluated. Dogs were randomly assigned to treatment groups with seven undergoing arthrotomy and seven undergoing arthroscopy of the left cubital joint. Dogs were evaluated using kinetic gait assessment, subjective evaluation scores, and cubital joint range of motion (ROM). Evaluations were performed prior to surgery and on days 2, 4, 7, 15, 22, and 29 after surgery. Preoperative radiographs of both cubital joints and postoperative radiographs of the operated limb were evaluated. Significant differences in peak vertical force and vertical impulse force were not observed between surgery groups (p=0.88 and 0.49, respectively). Joint ROM was not significantly different between groups (p = 0.09 for flexion and 0.91 for extension). For all dogs, joint ROM and radiographic evaluations remained within normal range throughout the study period. Additionally, significant differences in subjective lameness scores, weight bearing and pain were not observed between groups (p³ 0.19 for all variables). Therefore, post-operative morbidity may not be an important factor when making a decision to perform either arthroscopy or arthrotomy for exploration of the medial aspect of the canine cubital joint.



Dogs, Cubital joint, Arthroscopy, Arthrotomy