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Determining Best Treatment for Orthopedic Disorder

Morris Animal Foundation–Funded Clinical Trial

D09CA-303, Cornell University, Dr. Ursula Krotscheck

Patients Needed: We are seeking clinical patients for enrollment in our prospective study evaluating the treatment of fragmented coronoid processes (FCP). The inclusion criteria are dogs less than 1 year of age with an anticipated adult weight of over 25 kg. Other than elbow pain (one or both elbows), dogs should be relatively free of other orthopedic disease. A mild degree of hip laxity is acceptable.

Procedure Performed: FCP is a frequent source of forelimb lameness in dogs. Unequal growth of two of the three bones that compose the elbow joint (radius and ulna) can overload the process producing a small fractured fragment. Removal of this fragment is the treatment of choice, yet decreasing the weight-bearing in this area would also be preferable to slow arthritis progression. This study compares long-term outcomes of two surgical techniques for this problem.

After admission into the study, dogs will undergo force-plate gait analysis (which appears to them as if they are walking across a rubber mat), radiographs and computed tomography (CT) of both elbows. The following day, the pet will be anesthetized and the FCP will be removed through an arthroscope. Patients will then be randomized to undergo an additional bony cut (ulnar ostectomy), which might allow a decrease in weight-bearing of the area. Patients will be asked to return 6 months postoperatively for force-plate analysis, radiographs and CT scan, and 12 months postoperatively for force-plate analysis and radiographs.

Incentive: Other than the initial visit and medical records fees (approximately $83), the surgery and all follow-up care are covered by the study (approximately $2,500)

Study Outline: One of the most common orthopedic problems in dogs is a FCP, which frequently causes forelimb lameness. This problem occurs when two of the three bones that compose the elbow joint grow unequally, causing a fracture when the elbow bears too much weight. The fragment is usually removed through surgery, but treated dogs often develop arthritis. This study compares the long-term outcomes of the commonly used surgical treatment with those of a newer surgery that may decrease progression of arthritis. The findings will help determine the ideal diagnostic and surgical procedure for treating a FCP and thereby will improve long-term quality of life for affected dogs.

Contact Details:
Please call 607.253.3060 to schedule an appointment with the orthopedic surgery service, or e-mail Dr. Krotscheck at