Arthroscopic approaches to the fetlock joint of adult cattle: A cadaver study

Martin Blaser, Alberto Bertagnoli, Marta Räber, Karl Nuss, Mehdi Rasekh, Adrian Steiner
Veterinary Journal
September 2012

The objective of the present study was to describe the arthroscopic anatomy of the bovine fetlock joint using one palmar/plantar and three dorsal joint approaches. A comparative anatomic, ultrasonographic and arthroscopic study using 20 cadaveric feet from 13 non-lame adult dairy cows was performed. Arthroscopy was accomplished using a rigid arthroscope to view the synovial cavities with their synovial villi and parts of the following structures: the distal ends of the metacarpal/metatarsal III/IV bones with their trochleae and sagittal ridges, synovial grooves, the articular surfaces of the proximal sesamoid bones, the proximal aspects of the first phalanges, the lateral and medial collateral ligaments, the suspensory ligament and the interdigital ligaments as parts of the interosseus muscle, the cruciate sesamoidean ligaments, the communication site between the lateral and medial pouch in the palmar/plantar area, and dorsally the septum between the lateral and the medial pouch. The technique allowed a good overall view of most relevant structures in the sound cadaver joint. Further investigations are warranted to evaluate the diagnostic, therapeutic and prognostic applications of these techniques in the treatment of septic arthritis.