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Ertelt, J.; Maierl, Johann; Kaiser, A.; Matis, Ulrike (2010): Untersuchungen zur Anatomie, Pathophysiologie und Therapie der Luxatio antebrachii beim Kaninchen. In: Tierärztliche Praxis / K, Kleintiere, Vol. 38, No. 4: pp. 201-210
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Abstract

Objective: Functional anatomical evaluation of elbow luxation in rabbits and the comparison of this lesion to cats and dogs. Material and methods: The relative frequency of elbow luxation and the most common direction of antebrachial bone dislocation in rabbits were compared catamnestically with data in dogs and cats. Goniometric evaluation ofthe range of motion of the elbow was carried out in 14 rabbits. This was followed by visualisation of the anatomical structures of cadaver elbows and measurement of the subchondral bone density of the elbow using computed tomographic osteoabsorptiometry in seven rabbits and seven cats. Finally, the stabilisation of the elbow joint using wire to replace the collateral ligaments was evaluated in cadaver specimens. Results: Rabbits undergo elbow luxation approximately four times more often than cats and dogs when compared to luxation of the hip joint. Caudal elbow luxation is most commonly seen in rabbits. The elbow functions as a “snap joint” because of the eccentric insertion of the collateral ligaments and has good lateral stability, which is afforded by a sagittal crest of the humeral condyle. Computed tomographic osteoabsorptiometry showed that the caudal region of the elbow joint undergoes the most mechanical stress. Conclusions and clinical relevance: The anatomical structure of the elbow of rabbits allows primarily sagittal movement; excessive force poses a risk of injury to the cranial aspect of the joint capsule and the humeroular ligaments. When closed reduction and a Velpeau sling do not provide stabilisation for the treatment of elbow luxation, transosseus replacement of the humeroulnar collateral ligaments may be indicated.