The anatomy of the elbow joint is complicated, partly due to the fact it is composed of three bones; the humerus, the radius and the ulna. The radius’ main function is weight bearing and the ulna’s primary purpose is to allow smooth back and forth motion (flexion and extension) of the elbow joint. These two bones must grow at exactly the same rate or mal-alignment occurs resulting in rubbing, cartilage erosions and arthritis.
The term elbow dysplasia refers to this mal-alignment and accompanying arthritic changes and can be a broad term. Subsets of elbow dysplasia and other juvenile canine elbow diseases often are used interchangeably. These include: