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The articulation between the canine vertebral column and the rest of the pelvis involves the sacrum and the ilium.
The canine sacroiliac joint is a combined fibrocartilaginous and synovial joint. The cartilage plate which unites the ilium to the sacrum, creates an incredibly firm union called the sacroiliac synchondrosis.
The canine sacroiliac joint is a very strong coupling between the canine vertebral column and the pelvic limb.
This supports the transmission of power from the pelvic limb musculature forwards along the spine, facilitating acceleration of motion in a forward direction.
The sacroiliac synchondrosis part of this important joint is craniodorsal to the synovial portion of the joint.
The functional anatomy of the canine sacroiliac joint represents a very strong bond or coupling, that together with the surrounding ligaments, is tasked to transmit all the forces between the canine vertebral column and the pelvic limbs (hind limbs).
Canine Vertebral Formula: C7 - T13 - L7 - S3 (fused) - Cd 20-22
The sacroiliac joint is designed biomechanically for stability and therefore there is very little movement at this joint.
The canine sacrum is formed of 3 fused sacral vertebrae (S1, S2 and S3) to create a 4 sided shape that has a concave ventral (pelvic) surface. S1 vertebral segment is larger than S2 and S3 combined.
On the dorsal surface is;
The median sacral crest = the fused spinous processes of S1 - S3.
Two pairs of dorsal sacral foramina which houses sacral spinal nerves and other vessels.
The large cranial articular processes which articulate with L7.
The smaller caudal articular processes which articulate with the 1st caudal vertebra of the tail.
The left and right wings of the sacrum each have a large roughened auricular surface which articulates with the left and right ilium to form the left and right sacroiliac joints.
The os coxae (hip bone) consists of 4 bones which fuse week 12 postnatal as the hip bone;
- Ilium (plural is ilia) is a flat bone with 2 surfaces and 3 borders.
- Acetabular (smallest)
The ilium is the largest of these 4 bones and the most cranially placed, being divided into the wing and a body.
Body of Ilium
The body of the ilium is a narrow, compressed shape and its expanded caudal end forms 2/5 of the acetabulum and fuses with the ischium, pubis and acetabular bones.
Wing of Ilium
The wing is a wide cranial part to the body.
It lies in the sagittal plane in the dog (totally different to the horse or cattle).
Its lateral aspect is concave cranially and its cranial boundary is the convex shaped iliac crest.
The lateral aspect (external) of the wing is called the gluteal surface.
The medial (internal) surface of the wing is known as the sacropelvic surface.
The sacropelvic surface of the wing of the ilium has a roughened C- shaped auricular surface which articulates with a similar surface on the wing of the sacrum, forming the sacroiliac joint.
Cranial and dorsal to the auricular surface is a smoother, nearly flat area for muscle attachment.
Ligaments of the sacroiliac joint include;
Ventral sacroiliac ligament is divided into 2 parts, the cranial and caudal parts. These consist of numerous short fibres that surround the joint to reinforce the stability and pass medially from the ilium to the sacrum.
Dorsal sacroiliac ligament is larger than the ventral ligament and is divided into 2 parts, the short and long parts, which run medially between the ilium and sacrum.
Like the ventral ligaments, these reinforce the fibrocartilage of the sacroiliac joint and are bands of strong collagenous fibres. These run from the tuber sacrale and adjacent medial aspect of the ilium to the spines and lateral border of the sacrum.
Sacrotuberous ligament is a cord like ligament with flattened ends. It runs between the ischiatic tuberosity and the caudolateral part of the sacrum plus the transverse process of the 1st caudal vertebra. This ligament is mainly covered by the Superficial Gluteal Muscle.
Reviewing the bones involved in this complex joint between the sacrum and the ilium will assist in accurate assessment techniques.
Linking in-depth knowledge of the position and orientation of the joint's supporting structures will optimise the analysis accuracy and evaluation of each dogs functionality, related to problems or fitness challenges.
Palpating the Tuber Sacrale
Palpating the Tuber Ischii
Palpating the Lumbosacral junction
Evaluating part of the hindquarter complex
OneShot Inside K9HS video 003
Empower your choices of the appropriate canine assessment and treatment techniques for each dog in your care, from your "Therapeutic Toolbox."
This Bitesize Canine Resource was produced for you and is owned by K9HS Courses.