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Arthroscopic surgery is described as a minimally invasive technique for diagnosis, exploration and treatment of joint disorders. It allows intraarticular structures to be assessed accurately, thereby improving the diagnostic capabilities, and it broadens the spectrum of surgical techniques feasible for treatment of articular pathologies in cattle. This study aimed to assess for cattle the described arthroscopic approaches to the shoulder joint of horses, and to describe the appearance of the corresponding intraarticular structures of the shoulder joint. Additionally, to perform histological examination where tissues were identified and assessed arthroscopically, but the tissue type was uncertain using cadaveric limbs from cattle of different age categories without any signs of orthopedic diseases of the front limbs. An anatomic and arthroscopic investigation with 34-cadaveric forelimbs from 20-cattle was performed. The arthroscope was inserted either immediately cranial or 1-cm caudal to the tendon of the infraspinatus muscle for the cranial and caudal approaches, respectively. The shoulder joints were examined with the limbs in either horizontal non-pulled position, abducted non-pulled position using a three-pod limb holder adjustable in height, or horizontal manually pulled position. Arthroscopy was performed using a rigid 30┬░arthroscope (18-cm length, 4-mm outer diameter) to view the synovial pouches with their synovial villi and the following structures: cranial rim of the glenoid, cranial portion of the humeral head, incisura-glenoidalis, caudal rim of the glenoid, caudal portion of the humeral head, and cranial and caudal cul-de-sac. Abduction of the limb allowed improved visualization of the lateral portion of the joint. Pulling the limb facilitated investigation of the medial portion of the joint. Generally, the distention range was higher in younger as compared to adult cattle, and visualization of the medial portion of the joint was, therefore, facilitated in younger animals. The main complications observed were subcutaneous fluid extravasations and partial-thickness articular cartilages wear-lines. The described arthroscopic techniques allowed good overall visualization of the most relevant anatomical structures within the healthy cadaveric joint. Further investigations are warranted to evaluate the diagnostic and therapeutic applications of these techniques and the prognosis of arthroscopic surgery as a tool for the treatment of joint lesions.


Mahmoud Fadul, Alois von Rotz, Maher Alsaaod, Reiichiro Sato, Adrian Steiner. Arthroscopic approaches to and anatomy of the shoulder joint of cattle: a cadaver study. BMC veterinary research. 2020 May 24;16(1):150

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PMID: 32448261

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