Objective—To develop a method for arthrocentesis
of the temporomandibular joint in adult horses.
Animals—7 equine cadaver heads and 6 clinically
normal adult horses.
Procedure—Fluoroscopy, contrast radiography, and
computed tomography were used on cadaver specimens
to locate the temporomandibular joint, identify
externally palpable landmarks for joint access, guide
needle placement into the joint, and illustrate regional
anatomy. The arthrocentesis technique was performed
on 6 live healthy adult horses to determine
efficacy and safety of this procedure.
Results—Externally palpable structures were identified
as landmarks for temporomandibular arthrocentesis,
including the lateral border of the condylar
process of the mandible, the zygomatic process of
the temporal bone, and the lateral pericapsular fat
pad. Arthrocentesis was successful in all 6 joints in
the live horses, and no complications developed.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The technique
identified will improve the ability to examine
and treat the temporomandibular joint in horses. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:729–735).