Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Elbow: osteoarthritis

Contributor(s): Prof Gary M Baxter, Graham Munroe, Vetstream Ltd

Introduction

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Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Trauma to elbow joint or region from a fall, kick or excessive exercise.
  • Post-fracture of the olecranon   Ulna: fracture  and less commonly distal humerus   Humerus: fracture   and proximal radius   Radius: fracture  . Most likely where conservative methods of treatment are used, but even with treatment by internal fixation. Incorrect technique, delays before treatment and post-fracture trauma to the joint, may lead to long-term osteoarthritis despite subsequent fracture repair.
  • Post-unsuccessful treatment of osteochondrosis   Bone: osteochondrosis   of the lateral humeral condyle, proximal radius, and rarely the anconeal process.
  • Post-unsuccessful treatment of osseous cyst-like lesions   Bone: osseous cyst-like lesions   of the medial proximal radial epiphysis and distal humerus.
  • Septic arthritis   Joint: septic arthritis - adult  : direct penetration into the elbow joint is quite common, especially from the lateral aspect.
  • Post-luxation of the elbow joint which usually involves fracture(s) of the radius and/or olecranon of the ulna plus gross damage to the medial and/or lateral collateral ligaments   →   gross instability.
  • Injury of the collateral ligaments without fracture or luxation are uncommon but often lead to osteoarthritis unless the damage is minor.

Predisposing factors

General
  • Persistent and/or severe damage to the elbow joint often involving trauma.

Pathophysiology

Timecourse

  • This depends on the specific etiology.
  • In severe traumatic disruption of the joint stability such as with fractures or luxations, or post-uncontrolled sepsis of the joint, osteoarthritis may be rapid and severe in onset.
  • Where the stimulus to joint inflammation is milder, or possibly partially controlled, then the onset of lameness is slowly progressive and often mild initially.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers


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