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  • Author or Editor: Elisabeth M. Just x
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Objective—To develop a dorsolateral approach to the centrodistal (distal intertarsal) joint in horses and compare its success rate with that of the traditional medial approach in that joint.

Sample Population—25 cadaveric equine hind limbs, ultrasonographic images, and radiographic views of the tarsal region of 5 and 59 healthy horses, respectively, and 22 horses with a clinical indication for centrodistal joint centesis.

Procedures—The dorsolateral approach was established anatomically (3 cadaveric limbs), ultrasonographically (5 horses), and radiographically (59 horses). Centrodistal joint arthrocentesis was performed in 22 cadaveric hind limbs and 22 horses; the number of needle repositionings required for procedure completion via the medial (in vitro) and the dorsolateral approach (in vitro and in vivo) was determined.

Results—For the dorsolateral approach to the centrodistal joint, the injection site was 2 to 3 mm lateral to the long digital extensor tendon and 6 to 8 mm proximal to a line drawn perpendicular to the axis of the third metatarsal bone through the proximal end of the fourth metatarsal bone. The needle was directed plantaromedially (angle of approx 70° from the sagittal plane). The number of needle repositionings required to complete centrodistal joint centesis via the dorsolateral and medial approaches was not significantly different.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—In a clinical setting, the dorsolateral approach to the centrodistal joint in horses appears to have some advantages over the traditional medial approach. The success rate of arthrocentesis was similar via either approach, and palpation of the anatomic landmarks was easy.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research