During summer, we seem to see an increase in cases of canine humeral condyle fractures at the emergency and specialty hospital in Swindon. 

These fractures commonly occur in spaniel breed dogs, and may be predisposed by presence of a condition known as Incomplete Ossification of the Humeral Condyle. This can be difficult to diagnose from plain x-rays, can affect bilateral elbows, and can be a cause of lameness even prior to development of a complete fracture. We regularly screen for this (along with other elbow conditions) using our CT scanner which gives fantastic images for this type of condition (Image A).

At their simplest, these fractures include simple lateral condyle fractures in juvenile dogs that can be repaired with a simple transcondylar screw and anti-rotational pin (Image B), or mildly comminuted unicondylar fractures that perhaps require an additional plate and screws (Image C). At the more extreme end of the spectrum, we often encounter the infamous “Y” fracture (bicondylar humeral fracture) which typically requires more robust fixation including biaxial plates, screws and additional implants (Image D).

This is an area of particular interest (and the subject of several recent research projects) for our surgeons and we are always pleased to tackle and improve these challenging injuries.