Joint laxity in canine hip dysplasia assessed using the hip flexed not distracted ventrodorsal view

Authors: 
L Meomartino, A Greco, G Mennonna, L Auletta, M P Pasolini, G Fatone, D Costanza, B Lamagna, G D Valle, F Lamagna
J Small Anim Pract. 2020 Dec 1.doi: 10.1111/jsap.13270.

Objectives: The ventrodorsal hip extended standard view is conventionally used for radiographic screening of canine hip dysplasia. However, because the ventrodorsal hip extended standard view minimises hip joint laxity, several alternative views have been proposed. Our aim was to evaluate a new ventrodorsal hip flexed and not distracted view to assess joint laxity, by comparing it with the ventrodorsal hip extended standard and ventrodorsal hip flexed and distracted views.

Materials and methods: Between April 2013 and March 2017, all dogs referred to the University of Naples "Federico II" for the diagnosis of canine hip dysplasia were studied using the ventrodorsal hip extended standard, ventrodorsal hip flexed and not distracted and ventrodorsal hip flexed and distracted views. The Norberg angle and the laxity index were measured for each view.

Results: Overall, 102 dogs, 67 males and 35 females, mean age 15 months, were included. The mean (±standard deviation) Norberg angles were 99.77° (±10.42°), 89.29° (±14.32°) and 91.80° (±13.50°) for the ventrodorsal hip extended standard, ventrodorsal hip flexed and not distracted and ventrodorsal hip flexed and distracted views, respectively. The mean (± standard deviation) laxity indices were 0.19 (± 0.14), 0.39 (± 0.25) and 0.36 (± 0.21), respectively. The ventrodorsal hip flexed and distracted and ventrodorsal hip flexed and not distracted views had lower Norberg angle and higher laxity index values compared with the ventrodorsal hip extended standard view. The ventrodorsal hip flexed and distracted and ventrodorsal hip extended standard views are in strong agreement for the measurement of both Norberg angle and laxity index, as confirmed by Bland-Altman analysis and the intraclass correlation coefficient.

Clinical significance: The ventrodorsal hip flexed and distracted and ventrodorsal hip flexed and not distracted views obtained with the hip in a neutral position reveal joint laxity better than the ventrodorsal hip extended standard view. Unlike the ventrodorsal hip flexed and distracted view, the ventrodorsal hip flexed and not distracted view does not require human operators or special devices for positioning the dog. The wide age range of the dogs enrolled might have influenced the laxity index measurements, since capsular fibrosis in older dogs reduces laxity.

Small animal: