Author(s): Walmsley JR, Phillips TJ, Townsend HG
REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: There is little published information available describing clinical signs, arthroscopic findings and prognosis of meniscal injuries in horses. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effect on the outcome not only of the arthroscopic findings and treatment, but also of the clinical and radiographic signs in these horses. METHODS: The following were recorded for each case: the meniscal injury, graded according to severity; clinical and radiographic findings prior to surgery; any concurrent injury in the joint seen at arthroscopy. The effect of these factors and the grade of injury on the outcome were analysed using Fisher's exact test or Chi-square analysis. Only horses whose meniscal injury was judged to be the primary cause of lameness were included in the series. RESULTS: A series of 80 meniscal injuries were diagnosed and treated arthroscopically by the authors at the Liphook Equine Hospital and 47% of horses returned to full use. Statistically, poor prognosis was associated with increasing severity of the meniscal injury, the presence of concurrent articular cartilage lesions and radiographic abnormalities in the joint. Arthroscopic treatment of many lesions was limited by the inaccessibility of parts of the femorotibial joint. POTENTIAL RELEVANCE: Further work is required to improve and evaluate arthroscopic techniques for the treatment of these injuries.