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Incomplete ossification of the humeral condyle (IOHC) / Humeral intracondylar fissure (HIF)

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Synonym(s): Incomplete fracture of the elbow joint


Introduction

  • Abnormal development of humeral condyle that does not fully ossify and has a cartilaginous plane separating medial and lateral aspects.
  • Cartilaginous plane predisposes dogs to humeral condylar fracture occurring during normal activity.
  • Disease appears to have a genetic component with a recessive mode of inheritance.
  • Pathogenic mechanism of disease unknown but presence of disease may be associated with presence of fragmentation of medial coronoid process, a form of elbow dysplasia.
  • Humeral intracondylar fissure develops in older dogs who had no signs of IOHC, ie a de novo fissure. Thought to be a non healing stress fracture.
Print off the owner factsheet on Humeral condylar fissure (HIF) in dogs to give to your client.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Etiology unknown.
  • Appears to have a genetic component with a recessive mode of inheritance. May be associated with elbow dysplasia Elbow: dysplasia - significant proportion of dogs with IOHC also have fragmentation or chondromalacia of medial coronoid process Elbow: medial coronoid process disease (MCPD).
  • Humeral fractures that occur in dogs with IOHC generally result from normal activity (running, climbing or going down stairs).
  • HIF - thought to be stress or fatigue fracture due to abnormal loads or compromised bone health. 

Predisposing factors

General

Specific

  • None.

Pathophysiology

  • Unknown pathogenic mechanism.
  • In normal dogs, medial and lateral aspect of humeral condyle are separated by a cartilaginous zone that disappears by 4 months of age. In dogs with IOHC cartilaginous zone appears to persist.
  • Most affected dogs have IOHC on both elbow joints (1 in 5 dogs with IOHC will have bilateral humeral condylar fractures).

Timecourse

  • Dogs with IOHC have an abnormal humeral condyle and slowly develop degenerative joint disease in affected elbow joints; may not fracture elbow joints until adult.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Walton M B, Crystal E & Morrison S et al (2020) A humeral intracondylar repair system for the management of humeral intracondylar fissure and humeral condylar fracture. JSAP 61(12) 757-765 PubMed.
  • Robin D & Marcellin-Little D J (2001) Incomplete ossification of the humeral condyle in two Labrador retrievers. JSAP 42 (5), 231-234 PubMed.
  • Rovesti G L, Flückiger M, Margini A et al (1998) Fragmented coronoid process and incomplete ossification of the humeral condyle in a RottweilerVet Surg 27 (4), 354-357 PubMed.
  • Marcellin-Little D J, Roe S C & DeYoung D J (1996) What is your diagnosis? Faint vertical condylar radiolucency, secondary to incomplete ossification of the humeral condyle. J Am Vet Med Assoc 209 (4), 727-728 PubMed.
  • Marcellin-Little D J, DeYoung D J, Ferris K K et al (1994) Incomplete ossification of the humeral condyle in spaniels. Vet Surg 23 (6), 475-487 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Humeral Intracondylar Repair System (HIRS): Surgery Demonstration. Ben Walton: www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMhBNBPadXs
  • Marcellin-Little D J (1999) Incomplete Ossification of the humeral condyle in dogs. In: Kirk's Current Veterinary Therapy XIII. Ed J D Bonagura. W B Saunders Company, Philadelphia, pp 1000-1004.

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