Developmental Orthopedic Disease of the Canine Cubital Joint

By Clifford R. Berry, DVM, DACVR
College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida


  • Routine Radiographs
    • Additional views
  • Degenerative Joint Disease of the Canine Cubital Joint
  • Elbow Dysplasia and Components
    • Osteochondritis dissecans (OC)
    • Ununited anconeal process (UAP)
    • Fragmented medial coronoid process (FMCP)
    • Incomplete ossification of the humeral condyle (IODHC)
  • Summary

Routine Radiographic Views

routine radiographic viewsroutine radiographic views2routine radiographic views3normal normal 2

Pathogenesis – Elbow Dysplasia

  • Incongruent growth between distal humeral condyle and the ulnar subtrochlear notch
  • Pressure points – anconeal process, medial coronoid process, humeral trochlea

Ununited Anconeal Process

  • Fuses by 4 months of age
  • Seen on the lateral radiograph (do not need flexed lateral for diagnosis)
  • Proximodistal radiolucent line with surrounding subchondral sclerosis
  • Bassett and German Shepherd


Distal Humeral Osteochondritis Dissecans – Trochlea

  • Weight bearing surface of the distal humerus
  • Seen best on oblique craniocaudal (externally rotated)
  • Focal subchondral defect with surrounding osteosclerosis
  • May see flattening on the lateral radiograph

distal humeral OC2 distal humeral OC distal humeral OC 3 distal humeral OC 4 distal humeral OC 5

Fragmented Medical Coronoid Process

  • Diagnosis by exclusion
  • Abnormal shape or absence of the medial coronoid process as seen on the mediolateral projection
  • Osteophytes will occur at the medial coronoid process with other diseases
  • Does not mean the medial coronoid process is fragmented!


Special Radiographic Views

special views special views1 special views2 special views4 special views3

Other diseases that result in degenerative joint disease of the cubital joint

  • Incomplete ossification of the distal humeral condyle
  • Angular limb deformity
  • Other young dog diseases
    • Panosteitis

Incomplete ossification of the distal humeral condyle


Retained cartilaginous core and angular limb deformity



panosteitis2 panosteitis1


  • Cubital joint disease common as a cause of lameness in young, large breed dogs
  • Big three
    • Ununited anconeal process
    • Osteochondritis dissecans of the trochlea of distal humerus
    • Fragmentation of the medial coronoid process