Morphologic evaluation of rotated tibiotarsal bones in immature ostriches (Struthio camelus)

Gayle Hahulski, Denis J Marcellin-Little, Michael K. Stoskopf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The presence of potential morphologic anomalies associated with tibiotarsal rotation was determined in 10 ostrich chicks. Seven of the 10 chicks displayed various degrees of unilateral tibiotarsal rotation, whereas 3 were unaffected. Pelvic limb musculature and joint anatomy were similar between affected and control limbs. External rotation of clinically affected tibiotarsal bones (n = 7) ranged between 25 and 75° (median, 53°), whereas that of clinically normal bones (n = 13) ranged between 0 and 17° (median, 8°). The tibiotarsal nutrient foramen, in the midshaft, was more caudal in clinically affected limbs than in normal limbs (P = .002) and its displacement was correlated with the amount of tibiotarsal rotation (P < .001, r = .709). The distal aspect of the nutrient foramen was more craniad in clinically affected limbs than in normal limbs (P = .01). The cortical thickness and diaphyseal trabecular patterns of affected and control tibiotarsi were identical. The distal tibiotarsal physis of all birds had an atypical conformation, with transverse and longitudinal portions. Abnormal growth of the longitudinal portion of that physis might contribute to the development of tibiotarsal rotation. However, the caudal displacement of the nutrient foramen suggests that the deformity originates in the proximal portion of the bone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-260
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Avian Medicine and Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Anatomy
  • Ostrich
  • Ratite
  • Rotational deformity
  • Struthio camelus
  • Tibiotarsal bone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Small Animals


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