Proximal and distal alignment of normal canine femurs: a morphometric analysis

Ann Anat. 2018 Mar 19. pii: S0940-9602(18)30024-4. [Epub ahead of print]

Many researchers are interested in femoral conformation because most orthopaedic problems of the long bones occur in the femur and its joints. The neck-shaft (NSA) and the anteversion (AVA) angles are good predictors for understanding the orientation of the proximal end of the femur. The varus (aLDFA) and procurvatum (CDFA) angles have also been used to understand the orientation of the distal end of the femur.

The purposes of this study were to investigate the relationship between the proximal and distal angles of the femur and to compare the distal femoral angles in male and female dogs in order to investigate the sexual dimorphism. The measurements of normal CDFAs, which have not been previously reported, may also provide a database of canine distal femoral morphology. A total of 75 cleaned healthy femora from different breeds or mixed breed of dogs were used. The three-dimensional images were reconstructed from computed tomographic images. The AVA, NSA, aLDFA and CDFA were measured on the 3D images.

The correlation coefficients were calculated among the measured angles. The distal femoral angles were also compared between male and female femora. The 95% confidence intervals of the AVA and the NSA were calculated to be 24.22°-29.50° and 144.97°-147.50°, respectively. The 95% confidence intervals of the aLDFA and the CDFA for all studied dogs were 92.62°-94.08° and 89.09°-91.94°, respectively. The NSA showed no correlation with either the aLDFA or CDFA. There was a weak inverse correlation between the AVA and CDFA and a weak positive correlation between the AVA and aLDFA. The differences in the aLDFA and CDFA measurements between male and female dog were not significant.

In conclusion, femoral version, regardless of the plane, might have little influence on distal femoral morphology in normal dogs. Besides this, there is no evidence of a sexual dimorphism in the varus and procurvatum angles of the dog distal femur. The data from this study may be used in both orthopaedic studies and for clinical applications related to the distal femur of dogs.

KEYWORDS: Dog; anteversion; neck-shaft angle; procurvatum; varus