a small piece of bone that breaks and resides in the elbow joint of a dog.
There are three bones that make up the elbow in canines: the humerus is the bone above the elbow and the radius and ulna are the bones below the elbow. The FCP condition occurs when a portion of the ulna known as the coronoid process breaks off from the bone and lodges in between the humerus and radius.
The cause of FCP is not entirely clear, but may have to do with the radius and ulna growing at different rates which can put pressure on the coronoid process and cause it to break off. Most often, signs of a problem are exhibited before the dog is fully grown, and the condition is seen most frequently in larger breeds of dogs. Radiographs can determine if the coronoid process has fragmented, and whether surgical correction can aid preventing degenerative joint disease. Shifting forelimb lameness is the most common sign of FCP.
- Most likely to occur in young large or giant dogs, such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers and Dobermans
- Bone growth abnormality that causes the bone to break up exposing the tissue
- Symptoms are similar to OCD:
- Lameness in the affected limb
- Shortened forelimb stride
- Reluctance to flex or extend the joint
The surgical correction for FCP is known as an arthrotomy, and involves removing the fragmented portion of the ulna from the joint and smoothing any lesions that have formed in the joint. Dogs with this condition have usually already suffered some degenerative joint issues, but surgery can slow or stop the progression. Complications are very rare and the arthrotomy procedure is widely successful to repair fragmented coronoid processes.