Objective: Identify acceptable implant corridors in the normal canine thoracic vertebrae (T) from T1 to T9.
Study design: Retrospective study.
Sample population: Computed tomographic (CT) studies of normal canine thoracic spines (n = 39).
Methods: CT imaging studies of normal T1-T9 canine spines were evaluated by five independent observers. Each identified a proposed corridor, measured the width, length, and angle off mid-sagittal that the corridor occupied.
Results: CT studies were from 39 dogs weighing 3.19-60 kg (mean 10.72, SD 9.9 kg). Vertebral corridors ranged in average width from 3.8 to 5.2 mm, the widest being located at T1. They ranged in average length from 13.3 to 17.5 mm, shortest being T1 and longest being T6. The angle of corridors varied the most between individual vertebrae at T1-T3. The average corridor angles were: T1 = 38°, T2 = 32°, T3 = 27°, T4 = 26°. T5-T9 angle ranged from 23° to 24°.
Conclusion: The average dimensions of corridors measured in dogs weighing 3.1-60 kg were consistent with those of commercially available cortical screws and pins.
Clinical significance: Corridor trajectories identified in this population can be achieved from a dorsal approach between T5 and T9. A dorsal approach for implant placement would be challenging for T1-T4 due to the variability found in these vertebrae as well as regional anatomical constraints.