Comparison of four techniques of arthrocentesis of the lateral compartment of the femorotibial joint of the horse

Authors


email: schumjo@auburn.edu

Summary

Reasons for performing study: Clinical experiences indicate that centesis of the lateral compartment of the femorotibial joint is often unsuccessful.

Objective: To determine the accuracy of 2 published and 2 unpublished techniques of centesis of the lateral compartment of the femorotibial joint.

Hypothesis: It was hypothesised that a drug can be administered into the lateral compartment of the femorotibial joint via a diverticulum of this joint that surrounds the medial aspect of the long digital extensor tendon and that this technique is more accurate than described techniques of centesis of this compartment.

Methods: Twenty-four stifles of 12 horses were divided equally into 4 groups and a radiocontrast medium injected into the lateral compartment of the femorotibial joint of each group using a hypodermic needle inserted: 1) caudal to the lateral patellar ligament and proximal to the tibial plateau, 2) caudal to the long digital extensor tendon and proximal to the tibial plateau, 3) between the long digital extensor tendon and bone of the extensor groove of the tibia or 4) directly through the long digital extensor tendon until it contacted bone. Twelve veterinary students who had no experience using any of these techniques performed the injections. Accuracy of each technique was determined by examining radiographs obtained after injecting the contrast medium.

Results: The most successful technique for arthrocentesis was by inserting a needle through the long digital extensor tendon. This approach was successful in all attempted cases, whilst other techniques had lower rates of success.

Conclusions: The lateral compartment of the femorotibial joint can be accessed accurately by inserting a needle through the long digital extensor tendon as it lies within the extensor groove. Other techniques may not be as accurate for clinicians inexperienced in arthrocentesis of the lateral compartment of the femorotibial joint.

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