In vitro biomechanical comparison of load to failure testing of a canine unconstrained medial compartment elbow arthroplasty system and normal canine thoracic limbs.

Smith ZF, Wendelburg KL, Tepic S, Stover SM, Garcia-Nolen T, Stearns PB, Hayashi K.
2013 Sept

Elbow dysplasia, primarily affecting the medial compartment, is the most common cause of lameness in the thoracic limb. Elbow arthroplasty is an option for end stage or severely affected patients. The purpose of this study was to compare ex vivo axial load to failure of an implanted novel elbow arthroplasty system to control limbs. The partial arthroplasty is a medial compartmental, unconstrained system, intended to allow conversion to total arthroplasty. We hypothesized that there would not be any significant difference between implanted and controlled limbs when loaded to failure. Six pairs of medium mixed breed canine cadaveric thoracic limbs were prepared for comparison of failure loading of control and implanted limbs. Axial compression was performed using a mechanical testing system. Failure loads were normalized to bodyweight. The mean normalized failure load (N/kg) for the implanted limbs and control limbs were 2.47 (range: 1.62-3.38) and 2.68 (range: 2.25-3.25), respectively. An implanted to control ratio of 0.93 ± 0.19 was calculated. The difference between paired control and implanted limbs in normalized failure loading was not significant (p = 0.38). There were not any differences noted in the yield load (p = 0.30), stiffness (p = 0.62), or energy (0.58). Failure modes were recorded. We concluded that the differences between implanted and control limbs in supra-physiologic axial load to failure were not significant.