“Elke” – a 2 year old, Female Spayed, German Shepherd
Elke had been experiencing about a 1 year history of front leg lameness on both sides. X-rays showed degenerative changes in both of her elbows. A CT scan of each elbow was obtained for pre-surgical evaluation and planning.
CT scans confirmed bilateral, advanced elbow osteoarthritis and elbow dysplasia with pieces of the ulna broken off in front of the elbow joint. 2 CT views are shown from her study, both of the left elbow. The axial view is a “cut” traveling up the leg to see the structures, while the sagittal image is as though you cut the leg in half lengthwise. The red arrows are pointing to the fragmented area of the ulna mentioned. (called “fragmented medial coronoid process”).
A 3D image below shows Elke’s elbow with the soft tissues “stripped” away (through computer programming). Irregular margins can be seen at the level of the elbow joint (red arrow) demonstrating the degeneration which has developed.
Elke’s owner reports that she has ironically been doing well since her CT scan, and that we may have “scared the wits” out of her with all the discussion. Surgical intervention has been postponed and she is currently being managed with glucosamine and an occasional antiinflammatory medicine as needed.
Additional note to all pet owners: Elke’s family has pet insurance and the carrier reimbursed 80% of the costs for the CT without dispute.
Photo of Elke and details are shared with the owner’s permission!