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Diagnostic stifle joint arthroscopy using a needle arthroscope in standing horses

Authors

  • David D. Frisbie DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS & ACVSMR,

    Corresponding author
    1. Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
    • Corresponding Author

      David D. Frisbie, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS & ACVSMR, Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. E-mail: dfrisbie@colostate.edu

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  • Myra F. Barrett DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVR,

    1. Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
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  • C. Wayne McIlwraith BVSc, PhD, DSc, FRCVS, Diplomate ACVS & ACVSMR,

    1. Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
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  • Jeff Ullmer

    1. Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
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ABSTRACT

Objective

To assess use of an 18 g arthroscope for diagnostic stifle joint examination in the standing horse.

Study Design

Phase 1 used cadaver limbs and simultaneous ultrasonographic assessment. Phase 2 used 6 normal horses where stifles were assessed in both a standing and flexed position. Phase 3 used horses with suspected stifle injury or disease.

Animals

Normal horses (n = 6) to assess ability to perform diagnostic procedure (phase 2) and 3 clinical cases (phase 3).

Methods

Five cadaver limbs were used in phase 1 to assess all stifle joints. Phase 2 used standing sedated and locally anesthetized horses. Routine arthroscopic approaches were used in both weight bearing and flexed nonweight bearing positions. In both phase 1 and 2 simultaneous ultrasonographic and arthroscopic examinations were used to confirm extent of diagnostic examination. The methods developed in phase 2 were used to examine the stifle in 3 horses with suspected stifle disease.

Results

In cadaveric limbs and horses, all intra articular structures that constitute a complete arthroscopic examination were identified; no intra -or postoperative morbidity occurred. In phase 3, the needle arthroscope was used in accurate identification of pathologic change and in 1 horse, an osteochondral fragment not detected by ultrasonography and radiography was identified.

Conclusions

This preliminary work indicates that an 18 g arthroscope can be used for diagnostic examination of the equine stifle in standing horses.

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