Treatment of Incomplete Ossification of the Humeral Condyle with Autogenous Bone Grafting Techniques


  • Presented in part at The British Small Animal Veterinary Association Annual Conference, Birmingham, UK, 2006; European Society of Veterinary Orthopaedic Traumatology Conference, Munich, Germany, 2006; British Veterinary Orthopaedic Association Autumn Meeting, Chester, UK, 2006.

Address reprint requests to Noel Fitzpatrick, MVB, CertVR, CertSAO, Fitzpatrick Referrals, Halfway Lane, Eashing, Surrey GU7 2QQ, UK. E-mail:


Objective— To report clinical experience with autogenous bone grafting, with and without metallic implants, for treatment of lameness attributed to incomplete ossification of the humeral condyle (IOHC).

Study Design— Case series.

Animals— Dogs (n=8; 9 elbows) with IOHC.

Methods— A transcondylar humeral bone core was removed and the resultant socket grafted using autogenous bone harvested as either free cancellous bone or a corticocancellous dowel using an osteochondral autograph transfer system. In 8 elbows, additional support for the humeral condyle was provided with metallic implants. Postoperative outcome was assessed by clinical, radiographic, computed tomographic (CT) and owner questionnaire examinations in the short and medium term.

Results— Eight dogs (9 elbows) were treated surgically for IOHC. Graft types were free cancellous graft (n=2) or corticocancellous dowel (7). Condylar augmentation was performed using epicondylar cross pins (1); transcondylar Acutrak (AT) screw and epicondylar cortical screw (1); and a single transcondylar AT screw (7). Lameness resolved in 1–12 weeks. Bone bridging was documented in 7 of 8 elbows assessed by CT examination. Owner questionnaires (6 dogs) assessing daily functions were available for 7 of 9 elbows (follow-up, 6–45 months). Relevant follow-up function scores were significantly improved compared with preoperative values. One dog was intermittently lame and was administered nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medication.

Conclusion— Use of autogenous bone grafting techniques leads to resolution of lameness attributed to IOHC. Augmentation of grafts with implants like the AT screw is recommended.

Clinical Relevance— Autogenous bone grafting techniques represent a viable alternative or adjunct to existing techniques for clinical management of IOHC in the dog.