ISSN 2398-2942      

Computed tomography: elbow

icanis

Synonym(s): CT: cubital joint


Introduction

  • Elbow diseases are common in large breed dogs and are often bilateral in nature. Computed tomography allows complete assessment of the joints.
  • Computed tomography Computed tomography is the imaging modality of choice for the canine elbow joint. It allows detailed assessment of osseous and soft tissue structures of the elbow joint.
  • Cartilage can be assessed indirectly using CT arthrography but is rarely performed as arthroscopy Arthroscopy allows more accurate assessment of cartilage pathology.

Uses

  • Forelimb lameness Lameness: forelimb - investigation in dogs with suspected or confirmed elbow localization.
  • Luxation, fractures and fissures of brachium and antebrachium.
  • Postoperative assessment of fracture repair.
  • Wounds or infections in the brachium and antebrachium.
  • Localized soft tissue swelling.

Common conditions in the canine elbow joint diagnosable with CT

  • Articular involvement of trauma, wounds and infection
  • Incomplete ossification of the humeral condyle Incomplete ossification of the humeral condyle (IOHC) Elbow: incomplete ossification of the humeral condyle - CT :
    • This is a condition predominantly seen in spaniel dogs. The two ossification centers of the humeral condyle do not fuse and only non-osseous union is achieved.
    • Can lead to humeral condyle fissure or fracture.
    • Usually bilateral defect, therefore contralateral humerus should be checked with unilateral humeral condyle fracture.
  • Fragmented medial coronoid process Fragmented medial coronoid process Elbow: fragmented medial coronoid process 10 - CT :
  • Osteochondrosis Osteochondrosis of the medial aspect of the humeral condyle Elbow: osteochondrosis - reconstruction CT.
  • Ununited anconeal process Ununited anconeal process Elbow: ununited anconeal process - reconstruction CT.
  • Flexor tendon mineralisation Elbow: flexor tendon mineralization - CT.
  • Joint incongruity Elbow: joint incongruity - reconstruction CT.
  • Panosteitis Panosteitis Elbow: panosteitis - CT.
  • Neoplasia Elbow: histiocytic sarcoma - CT.

Advantages

  • Detailed bony anatomy without superimposition of different structures.
  • Images can be reconstructed in different image planes.

Disadvantages

  • Cartilage cannot be directly visualised with CT. CT-Arthrography allows indirect cartilage visualization.
  • Muscle and tendon/ligament detail is often poor. MRI Magnetic resonance imaging: basic principles allows better valuation of primary soft tissue lesions.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Schwarz T & Saunders J (2011)Veterinary Computed Tomography.Ames: Wiley-Blackwell.

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