Fragmented medial coronoid process (FMCP) and ununited anconeal process (UAP) are common developmental orthopedic diseases that affect the cubital joint in immature large-breed dogs. The prognosis for FMCP and UAP remains variable and depends on the severity of clinical signs and treatment used. In this article, causes of forelimb lameness and protocols for treatment are discussed in detail. Several factors, including genetics, nutrition, and diet, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of both diseases, and lameness and joint pain are common clinical signs that may develop as early as 4 months of age. Clinical signs are discussed, and histologic testing and radiographic and computed tomographic images are provided to aid in diagnosis and surgical treatment. Arthroscopic treatment of FMCP is preferred over traditional surgical techniques; however, one study showed that medical and surgical therapy may be equally effective. Some authors feel that UAP is caused by asynchronous growth of the radius and ulna, resulting in joint incongruence. In patients with UAP, surgical therapy yields better results than medical treatment, and ulnar ostectomy with lag-screw fixation of the anconeal process may be the treatment of choice. Early diagnosis allows proper medical or surgical treatment and may minimize progression of osteoarthritis.

COMMENTARY: This article summarizes current theory on the cause and treatment of two important elements of canine elbow dysplasia.

Canine lameness caused by developmental orthopedic diseases: fragmented medial coronoid process and ununited anconeal process. Trostel CT, McLaughlin RM, Pool RR. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet 25:112-121, 2003.