Arthroscopic treatment of meniscal cysts in the horse. Academic Article uri icon


  • REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: To describe the clinical symptoms, treatment, and outcome of meniscal cysts in horses. These structures have not been previously described in the literature as a potential cause of lameness in the horse. HYPOTHESIS: Meniscal cysts are an uncommon condition of the femorotibial joint but can be a significant cause of lameness. Symptoms can be resolved by arthroscopic excision. METHODS: Records of horses diagnosed with meniscal cysts and treated by cyst excision and meniscal debridement at 2 surgical practices were reviewed. Clinical outcome was determined by repeat veterinary examination and contact with owner. RESULTS: Seven cases of meniscal cyst were treated with arthroscopic cyst excision and meniscal debridement. Five of 7 horses had lameness attributable to femorotibial joint pathology, while the remaining 2 horses had meniscal cysts found incidentally during diagnostic arthroscopy for the treatment of osteochondritis dissecans of the lateral trochlear ridge of the femur. Five of 6 horses with long-term follow-up were sound and a 7th horse was improved 11 months after surgery. CONCLUSIONS AND POTENTIAL RELEVANCE: Meniscal cysts, while uncommon, can be associated with progressive lameness in the horse. Surgical excision of the cysts results in resolution or improvement of symptoms, without evidence of recurrence on follow-up examination.

published proceedings

  • Equine Vet J

author list (cited authors)

  • Sparks, H. D., Nixon, A. J., Boening, K. J., & Pool, R. R.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Sparks, HD||Nixon, AJ||Boening, KJ||Pool, RR

publication date

  • November 2011