Reasons for performing study: Medial meniscal injuries and subchondral cystic lesions (SCL) are known to occur independently within the medial femorotibial (MFT) joint in horses. However, there are no reports of a potential clinical relationship between these 2 types of lesions.
Objectives: To: 1) document the concurrent presence or sequential development of medial meniscal and SCL of the medial femoral condyle within the MFT joint; and 2) determine the prognosis with both types of lesions.
Methods: Retrospective case series of horses with both a medial meniscal and SCL of the medial femoral condyle identified concurrently or sequentially by radiography, arthroscopy or post mortem examination. Case records and radiographs were reviewed, and a telephone survey of referring veterinarians, owners and trainers was conducted.
Results: Twenty-one horses (9.1% of all horses undergoing MFT joint arthroscopy) were identified to have both a medial meniscal injury and SCL of the medial femoral condyle. Thirteen horses had both abnormalities identified concurrently, 6 developed a meniscal lesion subsequent to SCL debridement, and 2 developed a SCL subsequent to a medial meniscal injury. Only 4/19 horses were classified as successful and returned to their intended use. The severity of the meniscal injury was significantly associated with the severity of lameness but not with outcome.
Conclusions: A low percentage of horses may develop both a meniscal injury and SCL of the medial femoral condyle within the MFT joint and have a poor prognosis.
Potential relevance: Trauma to the MFT joint may lead to both meniscal and subchondral bone damage of the medial femoral condyle that may be recognised concurrently or sequentially.