Dorsal Arthroscopic Approach and Intra-Articular Anatomy of the Bovine Antebrachiocarpal and Middle Carpal Joints

Lardé H, Nichols S, Babkine M, Desrochers A. Vet Surg. 2016 Jul; 45 (5): 609-18.

OBJECTIVE: To determine arthroscopic approaches to the dorsal synovial compartments of the antebrachiocarpal and middle carpal joints in adult cattle, and to describe the arthroscopic intra-articular anatomy from each approach.

STUDY DESIGN: Ex vivo study.

ANIMALS: Six fresh adult bovine cadavers.

METHODS: Two carpi were injected with latex and dissected to determine the ideal location for arthroscopic portals. Arthroscopy of the antebrachiocarpal and middle carpal joints of 10 carpi was then performed. The dorsolateral approach was made between the extensor carpi radialis and common digital extensor tendons. The dorsomedial approach was made medial to the extensor carpi radialis tendon, midway between the distal radius and proximal row of carpal bones (antebrachiocarpal joint) and midway between the two rows of carpal bones (middle carpal joint), with the joint in flexion.

RESULTS: Arthroscopy of the antebrachiocarpal joint allowed visualization of the distal radius, proximal aspect of the radial, intermediate and ulnar carpal bones, and a palmar ligament located between the radius and the intermediate carpal bone. The approach to the middle carpal joint allowed visualization of the distal aspect of the radial, intermediate, and ulnar carpal bones, the proximal aspect of the fourth and fused second and third carpal bones and an interosseous ligament. The most lateral articular structures (lateral glenoid cavity of the distal radius, ulnar carpal and fourth carpal bones) were difficult to assess.

CONCLUSION: Dorsal approaches to the antebrachiocarpal and middle carpal joints allowed visualization of most intra-articular dorsal structures in adult cattle.