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Tenoscopic method affect risk of radiocarpal joint perforation

Last changed: 22 June 2020
Frontlegs horse

The objective of the current study was to report the frequency of radiocarpal joint perforation during two proximolateral carpal sheath approaches and to investigate the presence or absence of a natural communication between the radiocarpal joint and the carpal sheath.

Study design

Experimental, randomized, controlled study.

Sample population

Twelve adult horses and 12 cadaver front limbs.


Proximolateral carpal sheath (CS) tenoscopy was performed on both carpi of 12 horses under general anaesthesia. Limbs were randomly assigned into two groups. In group 1, the instrument portal was centered at the level of the distal radial physeal remnant (PR). In group 2, the instrument portal was centered 2 cm proximal to the PR. Immediately after tenoscopy, dye‐coloured fluid was instilled arthroscopically into the dorsolateral radiocarpal joint (RCJ), and the open tenoscopic portals were evaluated for leakage. Twelve cadaver front limbs were examined for naturally occuring RCJ and CS communication by using positive‐contrast computed tomography (CT). Frequency of perforations were compared with McNemar's test for two matched proportions.


In group 1, 10 of 12 RCJ were perforated during tenoscopy, and, in group 2, four of 12 RCJ were perforated (P = 0.03) . No diffusion of contrast from the RCJ to the CS was detected by CT.


Perforation of the RCJ was common when CS instrument portals were placed at the level of the PR. No natural communication was detected between the RCJ and CS.

Clinical significance

Carpal sheath tenoscopic instrument portals may need to be placed >2 cm proximal to the PR to prevent inadvertent RCJ perforation, especially in horses undergoing tenoscopic treatment of a septic CS.

Link to the publication


Skov Hansen, S, Tóth, T. The influence of tenoscopic approaches on radiocarpal joint perforation during carpal sheath tenoscopy in horses. Veterinary Surgery. 2020; 49: 274– 280.


Sabrina Skov Hansen
Clinical Veterinarian at the University Animal Hospital; Horse Clinic

Telephone: +4618672950