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Use of Electrocautery Probes in Arthroscopic Removal of Apical Sesamoid Fracture Fragments in 18 Standardbred Horses

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To develop a technique for arthroscopic excision of apical sesamoid fracture fragments using electrocautery probes. Animals or Sample Population

A total of 18 Standardbred horses. Methods

Arthroscopic removal of apical sesamoid fracture fragments using both hook and loop electrocautery probes was performed on 18 Standardbred horses. The fracture fragments were approached using either an ipsilateral (3) or contralateral (15) arthroscopic triangulation technique. Distension of the metacarpo- (metatarso)-phalangeal joints was achieved using a 1.5% glycine solution. Under arthroscopic guidance, both the suspensory and intersesamoidean ligament attachments to the abaxial and the axial margins of the apical fragment were transected using a hook electrocautery probe. Subsequently, the palmar (plantar) soft tissue attachments to the apical fragment were transected with a loop electrocautery probe. Once freed of soft tissue attachments, the apical fragment was removed with Ferris-Smith intervertebral disc rongeur. The arthroscopic portals were closed in a routine manner. Results

Horse ages ranged from 2 to 8 years (median, 2.5 years). Eighteen apical sesamoid fracture fragments were removed from the left (8) and right (8) hind limbs and the left (1) and right (1) forelimbs. Apical fragments occured in 15 lateral and 3 medial proximal sesamoid bones. No major complications occurred during or after surgery. The electrocautery probes permitted an easy and precise dissection of all soft tissue attachments to the apical sesamoid fracture fragments in all horses. Follow-up time was 7 to 44 months (median, 26 months); 10 of 14 horses returned to racing. Seven of nine horses that raced before surgery raced again and three of five that had not raced before surgery, raced afterwards. Conclusion

Arthroscopic excision of apical sesamoid fracture fragments can be accomplished arthroscopically using electrocautery probes. Clinical Relevance

Arthroscopic electrosurgery is an efficient and safe alternative for intra-articular dissection in horses.

©Copyright 1999 by The American College of Veterinary Surgeons
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Département de Sciences Cliniques, Faculté deMédecine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada.

Publication date: 1999-07-01

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