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Comparison of three dorsal techniques for arthrocentesis of the distal interphalangeal joint in horses

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  • 1 Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria di Torino, Dipartimento di Patologia Animale, Università di Torino, 10095 Grugliasco, Torino, Italy.

Abstract

Objective—To compare 3 dorsal techniques for arthrocentesis of the distal interphalangeal joint in horses with regard to ease of performing the technique and to determine the role of operator experience in ease of performing these techniques.

Design—Observational study.

Sample Population—Forelimbs from 17 equine cadavers and 12 horses (16 joints) undergoing arthrocentesis for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes.

Procedures—In both forelimbs from 7 of the equine cadavers, 3 arthrocentesis techniques (dorsal perpendicular, dorsolateral, and dorsal inclined) were performed in random order by a single experienced individual, and number of attempts needed to successfully insert the needle into the joint was recorded. For the forelimbs from the remaining 10 cadavers, veterinary students without experience in arthrocentesis performed each of the 3 arthrocentesis techniques (2 limbs/student) in random order, and number of attempts was recorded. In the clinical patients, arthrocentesis was performed by means of the dorsal inclined technique.

Results—For both the experienced individual and the veterinary students, number of attempts needed was significantly lower with the dorsal inclined technique than with the dorsal perpendicular or dorsolateral technique. Arthrocentesis was successful with the dorsal inclined technique in all 16 joints in the clinical patients; synovial fluid was recovered from 14 of the 16 joints. The procedure was well tolerated in all horses, except one that reacted to needle insertion.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that the dorsal inclined technique for arthrocentesis of the distal interphalangeal joint was easier to perform than was the dorsal perpendicular or dorsolateral technique, regardless of experience level of the operator.

Abstract

Objective—To compare 3 dorsal techniques for arthrocentesis of the distal interphalangeal joint in horses with regard to ease of performing the technique and to determine the role of operator experience in ease of performing these techniques.

Design—Observational study.

Sample Population—Forelimbs from 17 equine cadavers and 12 horses (16 joints) undergoing arthrocentesis for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes.

Procedures—In both forelimbs from 7 of the equine cadavers, 3 arthrocentesis techniques (dorsal perpendicular, dorsolateral, and dorsal inclined) were performed in random order by a single experienced individual, and number of attempts needed to successfully insert the needle into the joint was recorded. For the forelimbs from the remaining 10 cadavers, veterinary students without experience in arthrocentesis performed each of the 3 arthrocentesis techniques (2 limbs/student) in random order, and number of attempts was recorded. In the clinical patients, arthrocentesis was performed by means of the dorsal inclined technique.

Results—For both the experienced individual and the veterinary students, number of attempts needed was significantly lower with the dorsal inclined technique than with the dorsal perpendicular or dorsolateral technique. Arthrocentesis was successful with the dorsal inclined technique in all 16 joints in the clinical patients; synovial fluid was recovered from 14 of the 16 joints. The procedure was well tolerated in all horses, except one that reacted to needle insertion.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that the dorsal inclined technique for arthrocentesis of the distal interphalangeal joint was easier to perform than was the dorsal perpendicular or dorsolateral technique, regardless of experience level of the operator.