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The relationship between limb function and radiographic osteoarthrosis in dogs with stifle osteoarthrosis


  • Supported by the Iowa State University Orthopaedic Research Laboratory.

  • Presented at the 29th Annual Conference of the Veterinary Orthopedic Society, March 2003, Park City, Utah.

  • Address reprint requests to Wanda J. Gordon, DVM, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011.


Objective— To evaluate the relationship between limb function and radiographic evidence of stifle osteoarthrosis (OA) in dogs.

Study Design— The relationship between force platform data and radiographic OA score was evaluated on 2 separate days using regression analysis. Interday variation was also assessed.

Animals— Forty-one dogs with visible lameness and radiographic evidence of stifle OA.

Methods— Force platform data were collected at a velocity of 1.7 to 2.0 m/s for 5 trials on day 1 and day 8. Radiographs taken on day 1 were scored using a previously reported OA scoring system.

Results— No significant relationship was found between force platform data and OA score. No significant differences were found between any day 1 and day 8 force platform values.

Conclusions— Although radiographic evidence of stifle OA provides evidence of pathology, it does a poor job of representing limb function. In addition, the absence of significant differences between day 1 and day 8 values in this population of dogs supports use of only a single force platform evaluation before measuring a treatment effect.

Clinical Relevance— The presence of OA in the stifle joint does not correlate with clinical function; radiographic outcome should be used cautiously as a predictor of clinical outcome.