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Vet Surg. 2003 Nov-Dec;32(6):545-52.

Short-term outcome after total elbow arthroplasty in dogs with severe, naturally occurring osteoarthritis.

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Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50010, USA.



To evaluate limb function in client-owned dogs before and after total elbow arthroplasty (TEA) for severe, naturally occurring osteoarthritis (OA).


Prospective clinical evaluation comparing limb function before and after surgery.


Twenty adult, large breed dogs with elbow OA.


Physical, radiographic, and force platform gait examinations were performed on all dogs before surgery. TEA was performed, and examinations were repeated at 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery. Pre- and postoperative findings were compared.


TEA led to a satisfactory outcome in 16 dogs. In dogs with a satisfactory outcome, function in the operated limb increased over time, with mean peak vertical force (PVF) and vertical impulse (VI) 1 year after surgery being nearly twice the presurgical value. Serious complications encountered included infection (n = 2), luxation (n = 1), and fracture of the humeral condyle (n = 1).


Although TEA, as presented, has significant limitations, it can be successfully performed in dogs with naturally occurring elbow OA. Improvements in technique and implant design should lead to improved prognosis.


Based on 1-year data, TEA can be successfully performed in dogs and should be considered as a treatment alternative for adult dogs with lameness from severe OA of the elbow joint.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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