Arthroscopic Surgery

Arthroscopy means scoping or looking into a joint by means of a miniature telescope called an Arthroscope. Arthroscopy allows the joint to be fully evaluated. Advanced equipment such as an arthroscopic 3 chip camera/monitors, a fluid pump and extra scopes such as a 70 degree arthroscope enable us to do arthroscopic surgery in almost every joint of the horse. Areas that Dr. Kleider routinely operates on include the knee, fetlock, hock, stifle and even tight joints such as the coffin, pastern and navicular region!

 

After the sterile area is prepared for surgery and draped, Dr. Kleider makes a small incision and inserts the scope into the joint. A waterproof sterile camera and light is attached to the scope to make it possible to view the enlarged image on a TV screen. Using the camera, Dr. Kleider can navigate the joint and find the bone chip or area of irritation he is looking for. Making another small incision on the opposite side of the joint allows him to insert the necessary instrument to remove the bone chip or clean up the area of irritation. Arthroscopic surgery is far less invasive than conventional surgery as the incision is minimal.

Arthroscopic surgeries for osteochondrosis(OCD) of the stifle and hock are now routine! Osteochondrosis (OCD) is a joint problem usually seen in young horses at any stage of development but frequently when they start training. It is a condition that results from improper development of cartilage into bone.

A motorized arthroscopy shaver system, an advanced technology that works inside the fluid medium of the joint, allowing us to grind and smooth out any remaining rough surfaces left after the major pieces have been removed with forceps. It is also used for synovectomies in infected joints and for tendon/ligament surgery. We are proud to be helping more horses with OCD lead full and productive lives.

Apical sesamoid fractures and fragments lodged at the back of the fetlock (proximal P1 axial ocd fragments) are difficult to remove because extensive dissection is necessary. Dr. Kleider uses radio surgery with special arthroscopic probes to neatly dissect away all soft tissue attachments. This decreases anaesthetic time and soft tissue trauma.

Before suturing, a radiograph is taken to confirm complete removal of fragmentation. Then the small incisions are sutured, a sterile bandage is applied and the horse is moved to recovery.

 

All surgeries are presently being recorded on DVD for the horse owner’s viewing pleasure. We find that reviewing the surgery gives the owner an appreciation of any pathology.