Mechanical osteoarthritis of the hip in a one medicine concept: a narrative review

I Tomé, S Alves-Pimenta, R Sargo, J Pereira, B Colaço, H Brancal, L Costa, M Ginja
BMC Vet Res. 2023 Oct 24;19(1):222. doi: 10.1186/s12917-023-03777-z.

Human and veterinary medicine have historically presented many medical areas of potential synergy and convergence. Mechanical osteoarthritis (MOA) is characterized by a gradual complex imbalance between cartilage production, loss, and derangement. Any joint instability that results in an abnormal overload of the joint surface can trigger MOA. As MOA has a prevailing mechanical aetiology, treatment effectiveness can only be accomplished if altered joint mechanics and mechanosensitive pathways are normalized and restored. Otherwise, the inflammatory cascade of osteoarthritis will be initiated, and the changes may become irreversible.

The management of the disease using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesics, physical therapy, diet changes, or nutraceuticals is conservative and less effective. MOA is a determinant factor for the development of hip dysplasia in both humans and dogs. Hip dysplasia is a hereditary disease with a high incidence and, therefore, of great clinical importance due to the associated discomfort and significant functional limitations. Furthermore, on account of analogous human and canine hip dysplasia disease and under the One Medicine concept, unifying veterinary and human research could improve the well-being and health of both species, increasing the acknowledgement of shared diseases.

Great success has been accomplished in humans regarding preventive conservative management of hip dysplasia and following One Medicine concept, similar measures would benefit dogs. Moreover, animal models have long been used to better understand the different diseases' mechanisms. Current research in animal models was addressed and the role of rabbit models in pathophysiologic studies and of the dog as a spontaneous animal model were highlighted, denoting the inexistence of rabbit functional models to investigate therapeutic approaches in hip MOA.