Functional outcomes of dogs undergoing shoulder arthrodesis with two locking compression plates

Publication date 26th September 2022
Authors William Bertram Phipps, Miguel Angel Solano


To report the outcomes of dogs undergoing shoulder arthrodesis with the application of 2 locking compression plates (LCPs).

Study design

Retrospective case series.


Twelve client owned dogs undergoing shoulder arthrodesis using 2 LCPs as the principal method of fixation.


Medical records were searched for dogs who had undergone shoulder arthrodesis at a hospital between 2014-2021. Inclusion criteria required at least 6 months postoperative follow up and the use of 2 LCPs as the principal method of arthrodesis. Outcomes recorded include clinical assessment, Liverpool Osteoarthritis in Dogs (LOAD) scoring, force plate analysis, and a client visual-analogue scale with at least 6 months follow up.


All shoulders were immobilized with 2 LCPs and no postoperative external coaptation. The duration of follow up was 855.9 days (174-2135). Minor complications were recorded in 2/12 dogs, neither requiring surgical revision. Preoperative to postoperative mean lameness scores reduced from 2.9 to 0.8 (0-5), with 11/12 dogs making a full functional recovery, with a mean long-term LOAD score of 12.9 (4-23). Gait analysis was available in 5/12 dogs, placing a mean of 31.9% of their bodyweight on the operated limb, with a mean symmetry index of 8.7%. Owners scores (n = 11/12) were consistent with a high level of satisfaction (9.6/10).


Shoulder arthrodesis with 2 LCPs was associated with low morbidity and good outcomes in our clinical setting.

Clinical relevance

Canine shoulder arthrodesis performed with 2 LCPs should be considered as a suitable alternative in dogs with severe shoulder joint pathology.