The aim of this study was to describe the tenovaginoscopic approach to the bovine common digital flexor tendon sheath (CDFTS). A comparative anatomical, ultrasonographic and endoscopic study was undertaken using 26 healthy cadaver feet from adult dairy cows. Tenovaginoscopy was performed using a rigid, 30° arthroscope (length 18 cm; outer diameter 4 mm) enabling a direct view of the synovial cavity and the following structures: digital flexor tendons, digital annular ligaments, lateral and medial pouches, three mesotendons, the vinculum of the superficial digital flexor tendon, and a slot-shaped opening in the manica flexoria of the hind feet. Additionally, four clinical cases of septic tenosynovitis treated with lavage under tenovaginoscopic control were examined. Tenovaginoscopy represents a feasible, minimally invasive method for the diagnosis and treatment of septic tenosynovitis of the CDFTS, which allows the degree of alterations of the normal structures to be evaluated.
The Veterinary Journal