Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 2019; 32(05): 420-426
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1688984
Clinical Communication
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Standing Needle Arthroscopy of the Metacarpophalangeal and Metatarsophalangeal Joint for Removal of Dorsal Osteochondral Fragmentation in 21 Horses

Alvaro G. Bonilla
1  Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Montreal, Saint Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
› Author Affiliations
Funding No funding was received.
Further Information

Publication History

15 February 2019

27 March 2019

Publication Date:
24 May 2019 (eFirst)


Objective The aim of this study was to report the technique, experience and outcome of standing arthroscopic removal of dorsal osteochondral fragmentation of the metacarpophalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joint using a 1.2-mm needle arthroscope.

Study Design This was a prospective clinical study.

Materials and Methods All horses referred for standing arthroscopic removal of dorsoproximal first phalanx fragments or fragments embedded in the distal aspect of the synovial plica were included. Relevant information from the cases was recorded. Follow-up was obtained by a telephone questionnaire.

Results Twenty-one horses with a mean age of 4.5 years old were included. Osteochondral fragments removed were from the proximal margin of first phalanx in 18 horses (24 joints), in the synovial plica in 2 horses (2 joints) or free-floating fragment in 1 horse (1 joint). Fifteen out of twenty-one horses were unilaterally affected and 6/21 bilaterally. Fifteen out of twenty-seven affected joints were forelimbs and 12/27 hindlimbs. All articular structures within the dorsal recess of the joint were visible. The arthroscope was deemed easy to use and manoeuvre. Only minor complications occurred during the procedure. Surgery time was 15 to 20 minutes for most patients.

Conclusions All fragments were successfully removed and needle arthroscopy allowed a thorough evaluation of the dorsal aspect of the joint. The technique offers an alternative for standing fetlock arthroscopy for surgeons concerned about equipment damage or portability.

Author Contribution

The author contributed to conception of study, study design, data acquisition, and data analysis and interpretation. The author also drafted, revised and approved the submitted manuscript.