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Erosion of the medial compartment of the canine elbow: occurrence, diagnosis and currently available treatment options
Received:10 December 2013
Accepted:23 October 2014
26 December 2017 (online)
Erosion of the medial compartment of the elbow joint refers to full thickness cartilage loss with exposure of the subchondral bone (modified Outerbridge grades 4–5) of the medial part of the humeral condyle (MHC) and the corresponding ulnar contact area. This finding may appear in the absence of an osteochondral fragment or a cartilage flap, or in combination with fragmentation of the medial coronoid process (MCP) or osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) of the MHC. With regard to the prognosis, it is important to diagnose these severe erosions. Imaging of cartilage lesions by means of radiography, ultrasonography, computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging is challenging in dogs. In contrast, direct arthroscopic inspection provides detailed information about the cartilage.
The treatment of these severe erosions is difficult because of the limited regenerative capacity of cartilage and presumed mechanical or physical triggering factors. Several conservative and surgical treatment methods have been proposed to treat elbows with severe cartilage defects. However, due to irreversible loss of cartilage, the prognosis in these cases remains guarded.
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