a topic:
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OFA Elbow Registry

The purposes of the registry are:

  • to provide a standardized evaluation of elbow joints for canine elbow dysplasia, whether due to an ununited anconeal process, fragmented coronoid process, osteochondrosis, or any combination thereof;
  • to serve as a database for control of elbow dysplasia through selective breeding.
To date, the OFA maintains the world's largest database on elbow conformation. [TOP]

What is Elbow Dysplasia?
Elbow dysplasia was originally described as a developmental disease, manifested as degenerative joint disease of the elbow, with or without an ununited anconeal process. Erroneously, the term elbow dysplasia became synonymous with ununited anconeal process, thus causing the confusion that exists among some veterinarians and breeders.

Developmental degenerative joint disease of the elbow has multiple inherited etiologies which may occur singularly or in combination (ununited anconeal process, fragmented medial coronoid process, or osteochondritis of the medial humeral condyle). [TOP]

Method of Diagnosis
The purpose of the elbow registry is to identify phenotypically normal dogs and screen elbow radiographs for signs of early degenerative joint disease. The earliest and most consistent secondary change is a smooth periosteal reaction on the proximal anconeal process and/or joint incongruity. Proper evaluation of this region requires the elbow be positioned in extreme flexion and good radiographic technique be used. If a specific etiology is sought, additional views are suggested. [TOP]

Reporting of Results
Normal elbows on individuals 24 months or older are assigned a breed registry number and will periodically be reported to the parent breed club.

Table 1. Abnormal elbows are reported as:

Grade I

minimal bone change on the anconeal process

Grade II

additional subchondral bone changes and/or osteophytes

Grade III

well developed degenerative joint disease

Abnormal findings are reported only to the owner of record and referring veterinarian.



Table 2. Prevalence of Elbow Dysplasia in 1002 Samoyeds (Dec 2009)

% Dysplastic

Grade I

Grade II

Grade III






For more information visit OFA's official website.

Contact OFA directly for specific information on the OFA registries:
Orthopedic Foundation For Animals
2300 E. Nifong Blvd.
Columbia, MO 65201-3856
phone (573) 442-0418
fax (573) 875-5073

Dr. R.A. Weitkamp ~ President
Greg Keller, DVM, MS ~ Executive Director



I'd like to thank the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals for their permission to reproduce this information from the brochure on the Elbow Registry. [TOP]


  1. G.A. Padgett et al: The Inheritance of Osteochondritis Dissecans and Fragmented Coronoid Process of the Elbow Joint in Labrador Retrievers. JAAI-IA Accepted for Publication Nov 7 1994.
  2. C.R. Berry: Evaluation of the Canine Elbow for Fragmented Medial Coronoid Process. Vet. Rad. & U.S. Vol. 33, No. 6 Nov/Dec 1992 p. 273-276.
  3. A.P. Wind: Elbow Incongruity and Developmental Elbow Diseases in the Dog Parts I & 11. JAAHA 1986 Vol. 22 Nov/Dec p. 711-730.
  4. J.L. Berzon, C.B. Quick: Fragmented Coronoid Process Anatomical, Clinical, and Radiographic Considerations with Case Analysis. JAAHA 1980 Vol. 16 March/April p. 241-25 1.
  5. G.M. Robins: Some Aspects of the Radiographical Examination of the Canine Elbow Joint. J. Sm.An. Pract. 1980 (21) p. 417-428.
  6. E.A. Corley et al: Genetic Aspects of Canine Elbow Dysplasia. JAVMA 1968 Vol. 153 No. 5 p. 543547.
  7. G.G. Keller et a]: Correlation of Radiographic, Necropsy and Histologic Findings in 8 Dogs with Elbow Dysplasia. Vet. Rad. & Ultrasound, Vol. 38 No. 4, 1997, p. 272-6.




Last updated: Saturday, February 06, 2010

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