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  • Dynamic ulna osteotomy for elbow incongruity in a Shi Tzu pup

An 8-month-old Shi Tzu pup presented with right forelimb lameness and elbow incongruity with short ulna syndrome. This occurs because the ulna stops growing earlier than the radius, so that the ulna acts like the taught straight string of a bow and arrow, while the radius keeps growing and becomes the curved “bow”.

A right dynamic ulna osteotomy was performed with an oscillating/reciprocating saw. The pull of the triceps muscle then promptly pulls the upper part of the ulna and the elbow slips into its “best fit” position.

The difference between the pre- and post-op appearance is striking. The other side is pictured for comparison. Bone healing in young dogs is usually good enough that we just leave the gap heal on its own. Occasionally it needs a bit of help from some metalwork later!

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