DESCRIPTIVE CLINICAL REPORTS
Arthroscopic anatomy of the equine cervical articular process joints
Article first published online: 3 SEP 2013
© 2013 EVJ Ltd
Equine Veterinary Journal
Volume 46, Issue 3, pages 345–351, May 2014
How to Cite
Pepe, M., Angelone, M., Gialletti, R., Nannarone, S. and Beccati, F. (2014), Arthroscopic anatomy of the equine cervical articular process joints. Equine Veterinary Journal, 46: 345–351. doi: 10.1111/evj.12112
- Issue published online: 10 APR 2014
- Article first published online: 3 SEP 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 7 JUN 2013 02:39AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Received: 1 DEC 2012
- cervical facet joint;
- cervical spine
Reason for performing study
Although arthropathy of the cervical articular process joints (APJs) is common, descriptions of the arthroscopic technique of the cervical APJ have not been reported previously.
To develop an arthroscopic approach to the APJ and to describe the arthroscopic anatomy of the APJ.
Descriptive cadaver study and clinical case report.
The regional anatomy was reviewed and the technique developed on fresh cadaver necks. A series of cadaveric APJ arthroscopies from C2–C3 to C6–C7 were performed to evaluate the procedure, which was then used in 3 clinical cases. A description of the procedure and the potential complications encountered were recorded.
The equine APJ consists of cranioventral and caudodorsal recesses; a single entry point at one of these recesses enables almost complete evaluation of cartilage surfaces and the synovial membrane and its villi. Successful entry into both APJ recesses was achieved in 22 cadaveric APJs and 5 APJs in the 3 clinical cases operated upon. An instrument portal was created to assess the feasibility of surgical arthroscopy. Complications were minor, and dissection of the APJs following the arthroscopic exploration revealed that the cartilage and periarticular neurovascular structures were not damaged during the procedure.
This study shows that arthroscopic examination of the APJs of equine cervical vertebra is feasible and can be performed in mature horses. Arthroscopy of the APJs may provide additional diagnostic information compared to conventional diagnostic techniques.