Objective: To determine the safety and efficacy of caudal cervical articular process joint arthroscopy by using needle arthroscopy in standing sedated horses. Study design: Prospective experimental case series. Animals: Six adult horses. Methods: Three horses underwent exploration of bilateral C5-6 vertebral articular process joints and three bilateral C6-7 articular process joints by using a 1.2 × 65-mm needle arthroscope under standing sedation. The 16-gauge arthroscopic trocar and canula assembly was inserted in the desired articular process joint under ultrasonographic guidance without distention of the joint. Results: All 12 articular process joints were successfully explored. Entering the joint on the first attempt was achieved in 10 of 12 joints. A craniodorsal approach for arthroscope insertion allowed evaluation of the most cranial aspect of the articular cartilage surface. Triangulation with a spinal needle was determined to be difficult and resulted in a limited space for movement. Conclusion: Needle arthroscopy of the caudal cervical facet joints was performed safely and efficiently in standing sedated horses. Clinical significance: Standing cervical articular process needle arthroscopy is a minimal morbidity technique with the potential to be an advantageous technique for the diagnosis and treatment of cervical articular process pathology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas