Humeral condylar fractures and fissures in the French bulldog

Oliver J Anderson, Kevin J Parsons, Sorrel J Langley-Hobbs
Vet Surg. 2022 Oct 12. doi: 10.1111/vsu.13907.

Objective: To report the configuration, risk factors, fixation methods and complication rates after repair of humeral condylar fractures (HCF) in French bulldogs, and report the presence of humeral intracondylar fissures (HIF) in this population as a possible predisposing factor.

Study design: Retrospective clinical cohort study.

Sample population: Forty-four elbows.

Methods: The medical records of dogs referred between January 2012 and December 2021 were searched for French bulldogs presenting with HCF. Signalment, fracture configuration, stabilization method and complication occurrence were obtained. Postoperative radiographs were assessed for implant positioning, and computed tomography (CT) scans were assessed for the presence and size of HIF in the contralateral elbow.

Results: Lateral humeral condylar fractures represented 28/44 (63.6%) of HCF in French bulldogs. Repair with a transcondylar screw (TCS) and Kirschner-wire(s) (K-wire) were 7.62 times more likely to result in a major complication (95% CI: 1.43, 21.89; p = .01) compared to other methods. All incidences (7/7) of TCS migration were within the TCS + K-wire group. A HIF was identified in 18/31 (58.1%) dogs. Older animals were not significantly less likely to have a HIF than younger animals (p = .129).

Conclusions: Fracture stabilization with a TCS and K-wire(s) was associated with an increased risk of major complications and migration of the TCS. A HIF was present in the contralateral elbow of over half of the French bulldogs where CT was available.

Clinical significance: A HIF may be a predisposing factor of HCF in French bulldogs. Alternative methods of stabilization to a TCS and K-wire(s) should be used to reduce complication risk.