Objective—To describe a single-portal cranial arthroscopic
approach to the stifle joint in horses and to
determine the clinical outcome in horses with
femorotibial joint disease in which this approach was
Animals—23 adult horses.
Procedure—Medical records were reviewed to
obtain information on clinical outcome in horses in
which the single-portal cranial arthroscopic approach
Results—Twenty-nine stifle joints of 23 horses were
examined arthroscopically, using the described
approach. Subchondral bone cysts were treated in 19
medial femoral condyles of 12 horses. Unilateral cruciate
ligament desmitis (4 horses), meniscal tearing
(3), or both (2) were identified in 9 horses. Evidence
of degenerative joint disease without cystic lesions or
soft tissue trauma was found in 2 horses. Information
on clinical outcome was obtained for 21 of 23 horses.
A successful outcome was obtained in 15 of 21 horses
and was defined as return to sound performance
at a degree equal to or better than that prior to injury
and lameness. Eight of 12 horses treated for medial
femoral condylar cysts had a successful outcome.
Four show horses treated for cruciate ligament
lesions alone successfully returned to showing activity.
None of the 3 horses with meniscal tearing were
able to perform successfully.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The
femorotibial joint was evaluated through a single-portal
cranial arthroscopic approach, using the
femoropatellar joint as the point of access. This
approach was easy to perform, allowed controlled
access to the femorotibial joint, avoided accidental
damage to articular structures, and required fewer
access portals. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220: