Short Ulna Syndrome
F, a female entire Springer Spaniel, 6-month-old, started to limp on walks on her left front leg. This improved with pain relief but she was not 100% and given the young age she was referred for examination and work up.
On clinical examination, there was lameness on the front left leg but only mild. Despite this the limb was standing at an abnormal angle with a carpal valgus. The deformity was obvious although not severe. There was pain on elbow examination.
Sedation and radiographs revealed elbow incongruence and a premature closure of the ulnar growth plate on the left side. Also, the ulna was showing sclerosis. The radius started to bow and twist.
F was diagnosed with short ulna syndrome and we decided to perform a CT on both front limbs in order to assess the degree of deformity and to decide the corrective action needed.
The CT confirmed the elbow incongruence on the left leg and also the mild angular limb deformity.
After discussion with colleagues specialised in dealing with angular limb deformities the decision was taken with the owner got perform a long oblique bi-planar ulna osteotomy for a start given the growing potential left in F’s case. The above osteotomy is considered the best option given the recent studies and replaces other techniques used in the past which carried a high rate of complication but is a bit more technically demanding although is not a challenging surgery.
Under general anaesthetic the ulna was cut according to the measurements done before with a long was blade.
Post operative radiographies showed a well placed and well-executed osteotomy and the resolution of the elbow incongruence immediately post operatively.
F was rested for 6 weeks and radiographies were taken which showed good progression of healing.
At 12 weeks the progression of healing was considered sufficient and F was discharged.
No lameness was noticeable at 12 weeks post operatively.
The radial deformity was considered at this point to be of no clinical significance.