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Arthroscopic Removal of Axial Osteochondral Fragments of the Proximoplantar Aspect of the Proximal Phalanx Using Electrocautery Probes in 23 Standardbred Racehorses

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To describe the outcome after arthroscopic electrosurgical excision of axial osteochondral (OC) fragments of the proximal plantar aspect of the 1st phalanx (P1) in horses. Study Design

Retrospective study. Population

Twenty-three Standardbred racehorses. Methods

Medical records of Standardbred racehorses that had arthroscopic dissection of axial OC fragments of the proximal plantar aspect of P1 with electrocautery probes were reviewed. Horses were positioned in dorsal recumbency; a 1.5% glycine solution was used to maintain joint distension. The arthroscope portal was in the proximal plantar joint pouch and OC fragments were approached using either an ipsilateral or a contralateral triangulation technique. Dissection of the fibrous attachments was performed using loop and hook electrocautery probes. Follow-up was obtained by telephone questionnaire of owners or trainers and examination of race summary records. Results

Thirty-three axial OC fragments were removed from 28 metatarsophalangeal joints (left, 14; right, 14). No major operative or postoperative complications occurred. Seven of 8 (79%) of horses that raced before surgery raced after surgery. Thirty-six percent (n=4) of horses that had not raced before surgery raced after surgery. Conclusion

Intra-articular electrosurgery is a safe, easy alternative to conventional excision of axial OC fragments of the proximal plantar aspect of P1. Clinical Relevance

Arthroscopic excision using electrocautery probes is a valid alternate method for removal of axial OC fragments of the proximal plantar aspect of P1. In addition, the dorsal recumbency position facilitates removal of several fragments and multiple joint surgery.
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Keywords: Standardbred horse; arthroscopy; electrocautery; osteochondral fragment; proximal phalanx

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Département des Sciences Cliniques, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, Saint-Hyacinthe, Canada.

Publication date: 2004-07-01

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