I NFECTION RISK LOW FOR ARTHROSCOPY
A new study from Belgium suggests that a horse’s risk of developing a joint infection after arthroscopic surgery is less than 1 percent.
Researchers at Ghent University and Bosdreef Equine Hospital conducted a retrospective study using the records of 1,079 horses who had undergone elective arthroscopy on a total of 1,741 joints from 2006 to 2013.
A minimally invasive surgical procedure that can be used to examine joints as well as to remove fragments and do other repairs, arthroscopy involves the insertion of a rigid scope attached to a fiber optic camera through a small incision.
In reviewing the records of horses who underwent arthroscopy, the researchers documented all postsurgical infections, noting whether they occurred in the joint space (septic arthritis) or at the site of the incision (surgical site infection) or both.
They found that septic arthritis occurred in only 13 of the 1,741 joints treated arthroscopically, and only eight surgical site infections were reported.
In addition, the researchers found that a surgical site infection put a horse at greater risk of developing septic arthritis, and the infection risk was higher when treatment involved lesions measuring 40 millimeters (roughly 1.5 inches) or larger, as can be found in the stifle joint.
Reference: “Incidence and risk factors of surgical site infection and septic arthritis after elective arthroscopy in horses,” Veterinary Surgery, October 2017