Definition of Angular Limb Deformities
An angular limb deformity, also called premature closure of a growth plate, radius curvus or carpus valgus, is an abnormally shaped or crooked leg caused by stunted growth of one of the two long bones in a dog’s front leg. These bones are the radius and ulna. They connect the elbow joint to the wrist joint and need to grow at the same rate for a dog’s foreleg to develop normally. Growth plates are the areas where new bone is formed to lengthen the legs. When a growth plate is damaged (usually by trauma), the bone stops growing. When this happens in one of the front leg bones, the other bone keeps growing, putting enormous stress on the wrist and elbow joints. The growing bone will bow out, rotate and twist, and the dog will be in a lot of pain. Because angular limb deformities can be corrected surgically, it’s important for owners to recognize the condition and seek veterinary treatment as quickly as possible.