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  • Author or Editor: Jennifer H. Ruff x
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare palpation and ultrasound scores of effusion of the medial femorotibial and femoropatellar joints of horses.

ANIMALS

40 horses (80 stifles) were evaluated over a 12-week period.

METHODS

Horses > 1 year of age without history of stifle disease were enrolled from September to December 2022. Palpation of right and left medial femorotibial and femoropatellar joint compartments was performed. Amount of effusion was scored by a board-certified large animal surgeon, a third-year large animal surgery resident, and an equine sports medicine intern. Effusion of right and left medial femorotibial and femoropatellar joints was quantified with ultrasound by a board-certified equine sports medicine and rehabilitation clinician. Amount of effusion on palpation and ultrasound was graded as none-mild (1), moderate (2), or severe (3). A 2-way intraclass correlation coefficient evaluated interrater reliability of palpation scores. The Spearman rank correlation determined association between palpation and ultrasound scores.

RESULTS

Interrater reliability for palpation of effusion was poor between all observers for all joint compartments. No significant correlation was identified between palpation and ultrasound scores for any joint compartment for any observer.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Clinicians often rely on palpation of joint effusion as an indication of stifle pathology. We found interrater reliability to be poor for palpation scores, indicating low agreement for palpation of joint effusion between clinicians within our group. No correlation was found between palpation and ultrasound scores for joint effusion, indicating that clinicians should not rely on palpation alone to quantify joint effusion of the medial femorotibial and femoropatellar joints.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association