Stifle joint osteoarthritis in small-breed and medium-breed dogs is more severe after cranial cruciate ligament injury than medial patellar luxation

Ashley S Villatoro, Anke Langenbach, Jin Yoon, Tanya C Garcia, Denis J Marcellin-Little
Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2022 Dec 13. doi: 10.1111/vru.13207.

This retrospective observational study aimed to characterize the severity and distribution of OA in the stifle joints of small and medium dogs with CCL injury and/or MPL.

Radiographs of the stifle joints from 218 dogs from 10 small and medium breeds were included; 127 joints had CCL injury, 76 joints had MPL, and 73 joints had CCL injury and MPL. OA was graded at 33 sites within the joint.

The mean ± SD OA score was 20.3 ± 9.9. For all joints, OA was more severe in heavier than lighter dogs (P = 0.003). Joints with MPL (14.9 ± 8.2) had lower OA scores than joints with CCL injury (22.2 ± 10.0, P = 0.003) or CCL injury and MPL (22.6 ± 9.4, P < 0.001). OA scores were higher in joints with MPL for older dogs (r = 0.408, P < 0.001) but did not change with age in joints with CCL injury. The pattern of OA did not differ among joints with CCL injury or MPL. The retrospective nature of the study limited findings to associations but did not allow conclusions regarding factors causing OA or enhancing its progression.

We concluded that, in small- and medium-breed dogs, the patterns of stifle OA joint after CCL injury and MPL are similar. Radiographic OA after CCL injury is more severe than MPL. An increase in age leads to an increase in OA at the time of presentation at a referral hospital in stifle joints with MPL and without CCL injury.