Evaluation of an Arthroscopic Approach for Transection of the Equine Collateral Sesamoidean Ligament

Authors: 
Sarah N. Sampson PhD, DVM, Robert K. Schneider MS, DVM, Patrick R. Gavin PhD, DVM, Timothy V. Baszler PhD, DVM, Robert H. Mealey PhD, DVM, Chad J. Zubrod MS, DVM, Chad A. Marsh DVM
Volume: 
39
Number: 
8
Pages: 
1011-1020
Journal: 
Veterinary Surgery
Date: 
December 2010

Objective: To evaluate: (1) an arthroscopic technique for transection of the collateral sesamoidean ligament (CSL); and (2) the healing response using magnetic resonance (MR) and microscopic examination.

Study Design: Experimental study.

Animals: Adult horses (n=6).

Methods: Six sound horses with normal front foot radiographic and MR examinations were used. Lameness examination was performed before surgery and monthly for 12 months. Front foot radiography was performed at 180 and 360 days after surgery. Front foot MR was performed before, and at 7, 90, 180, and 360 days after surgery. Arthroscopic CSL desmotomy was performed on 1 forelimb. Gross and microscopic examination was performed on the CSL from both forelimbs at 360 days after surgery. Lameness scores were compared over time using the nonparametric Friedman's test for paired groups. CSL measurements were compared using paired t-tests with a 2-tailed significance level of P<.05.

Results: Radiographs remained normal throughout study period. Surgery resulted in lameness on the operated limb for up to 2 months, after which all horses returned to soundness. CSL transection was confirmed during arthroscopy and with MR examination 7 days after surgery. Gross and microscopic evaluation confirmed ligament healing.

Conclusions: CSL desmotomy resulted in short-term lameness after surgery followed by healing of the CSL confirmed by gross and microscopic analysis.