One of the most common causes of fore limb lameness in the dog is Elbow Dysplasia. Elbow Dysplasia is a generic term meaning arthritis in the elbow joint. As in people, arthritis in the dog is painful, resulting in intermittent and persistent lameness, especially following physical activity.
Elbow Dysplasia has 4 developmental causes:
Elbow Dysplasia that develops as a result of one or a combination of OCD, FCP, and Elbow incongruency is referred to as Medial Compartment Syndrome. Put simply, elbow dysplasia is early onset arthritis resulting from the abnormal development of the elbow joint. It is believed to be due to a combination of genetic factors, diet, rapid growth, and/or trauma.
Signs of Medial Compartment Disease:
Consequences of Elbow Dysplasia
Elbow dysplasia and medial compartment disease is a condition in need of a better treatment. At the moment relatively few options are available for these patients. Treatment options to minimize lameness range from conservative treatment, prescribing pain management drugs and special diets, to aggressive surgical treatment, cutting bone to alter joint biomechanics and even total elbow replacement. Although pain management drugs may help the dog feel better and cope with a bad elbow, they do not alter the progression of disease.
The PAUL is a novel new paliative technique for the treatment of this lameness, showing particular benefit in younger patients, treated prior to the advanced stages of osteoarthritis.
The PAUL technique was developed on the basis of several observations and biomechanical analysis of the canine elbow joint:
The PAUL involves an osteotomy of the proximal portion of the ulna. A specially designed ALPS PAUL plate is fixed to impose a corrective limb alignment, aimed at unloading the medial compartment. This new alignment unloads the medial compartment, alleviating lameness, stiffness, and joint pain.
Arthroscpy & PAUL Discharge Form (PDF)