Determination of the Stifle Angle at Standing Position in Dogs

Thomas Giansetto, Pierre P Picavet, Michaël Lefebvre, Marc Balligand
Vet Sci. 2022 Nov 21;9(11):644. doi: 10.3390/vetsci9110644.

Background: The cranial cruciate ligament rupture is one of the most common orthopaedic diseases encountered in dogs. Surgical techniques have been developed to stabilize the stifle, with an overall accepted benefit of tibial osteotomies among which is the tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA). Prior to surgery, the required TTA must be determined on a strict lateral radiographical view of the affected stifle with femur and tibia at an angle of 135° as initially recommended. This value, initially determined in only two dog breeds, has been considered the mean standard value of the canine stifle angle during the mid-stance phase.

Methods: We sought to determine if this particular stifle angle around mid-stance phase was similar among multiple dog breeds. We built up a custom-made radiographic system for stifle angle measurement in standing dogs.

Results: A mean value of stifle angle of 145° was obtained. Mean stifle angle at mid-stance phase in a healthy dog is regularly higher than 135° and is likely breed and individual dependent.

Conclusions: The pre-operative measurement of the required TTA made on stifles in 145° extension, a value close to full physiological extension could contribute to decreasing the incidence of late post-operative meniscal lesion, consecutive to underestimation of TTA.