Research on Arthroscopy of the Equine Stifle

An arthroscopic portal immediately cranial to the lateral collateral ligament permitted consistent entry into the popliteal tunnel and both pouches of the caudal lateral femorotibial joint.

Current arthroscopic approaches are considered challenging and risk iatrogenic nerve and cartilage damage. iStock/Somogyvari

Recent research was published titled, “An alternative arthroscopic approach to the caudal pouches of the equine lateral femorotibial joint.” The paper was authored by H.D. O’Neill and B.M. Bladon.

This cadaver and clinical study described and evaluated a novel arthroscopic approach to the caudal pouches of the lateral femorotibial joint as current approaches are considered challenging and risk iatrogenic nerve and cartilage damage.

The surgical technique was developed initially using 19 cadaver limbs positioned to simulate dorsal recumbency and with the stifle held in 90-degree flexion. A portal was made immediately cranial to the lateral collateral ligament and the arthroscope advanced along the popliteal tunnel of the femorotibial joint in a cranial to caudal direction.

Following the cadaver study, 33 horses underwent inspection of 38 caudal lateral femorotibial joints using the alternative technique as part of routine joint inspection. Entry and examination of both pouches of the caudal lateral femorotibial joint were consistently achieved in both the cadaver and clinical limbs, with no intra‐ or post-operative complications in the latter.

Bottom line: An arthroscopic portal immediately cranial to the lateral collateral ligament permitted consistent entry into the popliteal tunnel and both pouches of the caudal lateral femorotibial joint.

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