Joint diseases

Joint diseases are a common cause for lameness in horses. In most cases diagnoses can be made via conventional lameness exam with conduction- and joint anesthesia and subsequent X-Rays, resp. ultrasound. Articular cartilage and other soft parts can be depicted in more detail via magnetic resonance tomographic exams.

However, in some cases it is not possible to make a diagnosis via these imaging methods.

For instance, lesions on meniscus and anterior cruciate ligaments of the knee pose a diagnostic challenge, as parts of the meniscus cannot be examined via ultrasound.

For such a diagnosis an arthroscopy is necessary. With a new technique “the needle view arthroscopy”, the joint can be examined with a camera no bigger than a common hollow needle. As this exam can be done standing up, the horse does not need a general anesthesia.

At ISME continuative experimental and clinical studies are in progress at present to make this technique useful for other joints like the tarsal joint, the fetlock joint and the carpal joint as well as for the podotrochlear bursa.

It would be possible herewith, to visualize tendon and cartilage damages as well as agglutinations in the podotrochlear bursa for instance. This diagnostic technique could be applied solely, or as a continuation of the MRI exam.