Osteoarthritis can be caused by coronoid disease or other elbow dysplasia forms. The result of this can be losing all cartilage on surfaces that bear weight of medial joint structures. Ultimately, it can result in Medial Compartment Disease (MCD). The final stage of elbow dysplasia is where collapsing occurs of the inner part of the joint, thus eventually causing the bones to grind against each other. Majority of patients have a normal appearance of the larger lateral part (the outside). MCD can be diagnosed anytime from 6 months.

How can medial compartment disease be treated?

Your pet can benefit from injections, oral medication and physical therapy for a period of time, your veterinarian will decide if this option is suitable. Often surgical treatment is necessary, the safest and most effective option will be Canine Unicompartmental Elbow (CUE). MCD was developed as an option for dogs that are no longer benefitting from non-surgical options or arthroscopic treatment. The CUE implant focuses on the medial compartment and provides a bone-sparing option which is not as invasive as other options. It aims to resurface bone-on-bone based in the medial compartment without effecting the good cartilage based in the lateral compartment. The procedure will reduce or eliminate lameness and pain associated with the bone-on-bone grinding.

Is the CUE a major surgery?

It is an open surgery, however is quite a short procedure only taking about an hour to complete. It does not require major operation such as cutting bone or other large surgical approaches, as opposed to an elbow replacement. The recovery is faster than total elbow replacements and produces better outcomes.

What can I expect after CUE surgery?

Antibiotics and pain medication will be prescribed to administer to your dog at home. There will be a bandage where the surgery took place, this will require cleaning and keeping dry. It should be changed after one week and maintained for about two weeks post-surgery. After two weeks after surgery, the sutures should be ready to be removed. Activity should be restricted and controlled for about 8 weeks after the procedure. The healing will be assessed at an examination performed about 8-10 weeks following the procedure. From here, rehabilitation exercises should be initiated to allow the dog to progress to full activity at 6 months post-surgery. A final assessment should be performed at 3-6 months after surgery to determine if the dog is back to full athletic function.