Nine month old Leo the Saint Bernard came to see us with a left front leg lameness. He had a swollen and painful left elbow and Xrays showed that he had Elbow Dysplasia – a developmental condition where the joint structures do no form properly, leading to pain and osteoarthritis. You can see on his Xray that there is a large bone fragment called an Ununited Anconeal Process (or UAP) in the back of his elbow joint. Other bony changes on the Xray made us suspicious that he may also have a Fragmented Coronoid Process (or FCP). This is where a small piece of bone on the ulna does not fuse properly. Both of these conditions cause ongoing pain.
In order to further assess Leo’s elbow, we recommended arthroscopic examination of the joint. This was performed by specialist surgeon Dr Chris Preston within our hospital and we could clearly see the UAP, and Leo did indeed also have an FCP. The small FCP fragment was removed arthroscopically by Dr Preston, and the large UAP fragment was then surgically removed by our own Dr Karin Davids. Leo will need ongoing management for elbow arthritis, but has a good prognosis for pain-free function now that these bony pieces have been removed from his joint.