.Toby Gemmill

  • Webinar recorded on Thu 3rd November, 2016
  • 1 hours 02 mins
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Key learning points

  1. To understand the different clinical presentations of HCF that can be encountered in practice
  2. To appreciate how to evaluate cases and diagnose the condition
  3. To understand the challenges faced in treating dogs with HCF, and how these challenges can be overcome

Humeral condylar fissure (HCF) is a common condition in small animal practice in the UK, most commonly affecting spaniel breeds. The aetiopathogenesis of the condition is unclear, but two theories have been proposed.

  1. The HCF could represent a failure of fusion of the condylar ossification centres, which could then allow the development of a fissure.
  1. In adult dogs acquired fissures could be a form of insufficiency fracture.

Clinically, dogs can be presented with humeral condylar fractures or can be presented with weight bearing lameness associated with HCF. Diagnosis of fractures is straight forward, however identification of a fissure can be challenging. Craniocaudal radiographs can be helpful, but CT is the gold standard. Fractures are stabilized using standard AO techniques. Robust implants should be used, generally consisting of a transcondylar lag screw and epicondylar plates. Clinically significant fissures should be stabilised using large transcondylar implants; it is recommended that these are placed in a medial-to-lateral direction. The prognosis following surgical treatment of HCF is fair. With precise surgical technique most dogs will significantly improve, however short and long term complications are occasionally encountered.

Toby graduated from the University of Bristol and spent a number of years in practice before undertaking a Residency in small animal surgery at the University of Glasgow. He holds both RCVS and ECVS Diplomas in Small Animal Surgery, and was awarded an MVM for research into canine elbow dysplasia. Clinically he is interested in all aspects of small animal orthopaedics and spinal surgery. Toby has at the Willows Referral Service since 2005.


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