Communication between the femoropatellar and medial and lateral femorotibial joints in horses

John R. Vacek From the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

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Troy S. Ford From the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

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Clifford M. Honnas From the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

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Summary

Communications between the femoropatellar, medial femorotibial, and lateral femorotibial joints were studied, using fresh equine cadaver specimens. A total of 90 specimens from 45 horses were used. Horses were randomly assigned to 3 groups with 15 horses/group. Each group was assigned an injection site (femoropatellar joint, medial femorotibial joint, or lateral femorotibial joint), and red latex was injected into the respective location of each joint in each group. Immediately after injection, the joints were flexed and extended 100 times. The stifles were frozen in slight flexion, then cut into 1-cm sagittal sections. The communications between the femoropatellar and medial and lateral femorotibial joints were determined.

None of the specimens in this study had communication between all 3 joint compartments. When the femoropatellar joint was injected, 18 of 30 joints (60%) communicated with the medial femorotibial joint, and 1 of 30 (3%) communicated with the lateral femorotibial joint. Injection of the medial femorotibial joint revealed 24 of 30 (80%) joints that communicated with the femoropatellar joint, and 1 of 30 (3%) that communicated with the lateral femorotibial joint. Injection of the lateral femorotibial joint resulted in communication with the femoropatellar joint in 1 of 30 (3%) joints. Communication did not exist between the medial and lateral femorotibial joints.

Summary

Communications between the femoropatellar, medial femorotibial, and lateral femorotibial joints were studied, using fresh equine cadaver specimens. A total of 90 specimens from 45 horses were used. Horses were randomly assigned to 3 groups with 15 horses/group. Each group was assigned an injection site (femoropatellar joint, medial femorotibial joint, or lateral femorotibial joint), and red latex was injected into the respective location of each joint in each group. Immediately after injection, the joints were flexed and extended 100 times. The stifles were frozen in slight flexion, then cut into 1-cm sagittal sections. The communications between the femoropatellar and medial and lateral femorotibial joints were determined.

None of the specimens in this study had communication between all 3 joint compartments. When the femoropatellar joint was injected, 18 of 30 joints (60%) communicated with the medial femorotibial joint, and 1 of 30 (3%) communicated with the lateral femorotibial joint. Injection of the medial femorotibial joint revealed 24 of 30 (80%) joints that communicated with the femoropatellar joint, and 1 of 30 (3%) that communicated with the lateral femorotibial joint. Injection of the lateral femorotibial joint resulted in communication with the femoropatellar joint in 1 of 30 (3%) joints. Communication did not exist between the medial and lateral femorotibial joints.

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