alexa Ultrasonographic Findings in the Stifle Joint of Active Jumping and Dressage Horses
ISSN: 2161-1149

Rheumatology: Current Research
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Research Article

Ultrasonographic Findings in the Stifle Joint of Active Jumping and Dressage Horses

Elke Van der Vekens1*, Erik H J Bergman2, Arie C Hoogendoorn3, Els V Raes1, Bernadette Van Ryssen1, Katrien Vanderperren1and Jimmy H Saunders1

1Department of Medical Imaging, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Belgium

2Sporthorse Medical Diagnostic Centre, Hooge Wijststraat 7, 5384 RC Heesch, Netherlands

3De Watermolen, Watermolenweg 5, 7481 VL Haaksbergen, Netherlands

*Corresponding Author:
Elke Van der Vekens
Department of Medical Imaging
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Ghent University, Belgium
Tel: 09 264 76 32
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: Octomber 21, 2015; Accepted date: January 27, 2016; Published date: January 29, 2016

Citation:Vekens EV, Bergman EHJ, Hoogendoorn AC, Raes EV, Ryssen BV, et al. (2016) Ultrasonographic Findings in the Stifle Joint of Active Jumping and Dressage Horses . Rheumatology (Sunnyvale) 6:1000184. doi:10.4172/2161-1149.1000184

Copyright: © 2015 Vekens EV der. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Ultrasonography (US) is frequently used to evaluate the equine stifle joint. Some soft tissue US findings are known to be clinically relevant, while others are considered incidental. These considerations are not always evidence-based. This study aims to describe the US findings observed in the stifle of clinically sound, active jumping and dressage horses.

Design: Prospective study Animals: 46 Warmblood horses Procedures: To be included in this study, the horses had to fulfil 4 criteria: (1) in competition at least 1 time/month at national or international level, (2) in full work, (3) free of lameness, (4) no complains of the horse’s performances. Both stifle joints of each horse were scanned systematically by US and US findings were recorded.

Results: 46 Warmblood horses fulfilled the criteria. US was normal in 21 horses, whereas abnormalities were detected in one or both stifles in 7 and 18 horses, respectively. Changes were seen in all compartments of the stifle joints: medial femorotibial joint (18 horses): osteophytes, effusion, subchondral cyst in the medial femoral condyle and lesions in the cranial meniscotibial ligament or medial collateral ligament; lateral femorotibial joint (4 horses): mild effusion, subchondral cyst in lateral femoral condyle; femoropatellar joint (16 horses): effusion, lesions in medial or intermediate patellar ligament or osteochondrotic lesions.

Conclusion and Clinical relevance: Mild changes can be found ultrasonographically in the stifles of sport horses. Periarticular new bone formation was observed in 25% of the horses, apparently clinically not relevant. Lesions in the menisci, the tendinous portions of the popliteus muscle, long digital extensor muscle or peroneus tertius muscle or the lateral collateral ligament were not observed.


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