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Keywords:

  • osteochondrosis;
  • equine stifle;
  • radiology;
  • arthroscopy

Radiographs of 72 femoropatellar and femorotibial joints from 50 horses were evaluated. Ninety four arthroscopically evaluated areas were graded according to a predetermined system. The radiographic grade was then compared to arthroscopic findings in the same location. Statistical analysis was performed to determine the association between the radiographic subchondral bone changes and arthroscopic findings. Radiographically normal areas in the femoropatellar joint were arthroscopically positive for cartilaginous changes in 40% of the femoropatellar joints. Areas of mild subchondral bone flattening (grade I) in the lateral trochlear ridge were arthroscopically positive for cartilage changes 78% of the time. Ninety six percent of moderate to severe subchondral bone changes (grades II-V) were arthroscopically positive for cartilage damage. This research demonstrates that (1) a significant number of radiographically normal joints will have cartilage changes, (2) areas of mild subchondral bone flattening have cartilage changes present in the majority of cases and (3) areas of moderate to severe subchondral bone changes have arthroscopically detectable cartilage changes present.