Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Stifle: meniscus lesions

Contributor(s): Rob Pettitt

Introduction

  • Seen almost exclusively in association with cranial cruciate ligament rupture.
  • Patients experience more pain than expected from the associated joint disease.
  • A reason for failure to respond to treatment of the associated joint disease.
  • Medial meniscus affected >> lateral.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Failure of the cranial cruciate ligament leads to cranial caudal instability with increased internal rotation of the tibia. Medial meniscus more commonly affected as more rigidly attached to the joint capsule and tibia than the lateral meniscus. Crushing of the meniscus between the femur and tibia due to the subluxation of the tibia leads to a variety of meniscal lesions.

Predisposing factors

General
  • Chronic presence of other joint disease(s).
  • Conservative management of cruciate rupture Stifle: cranial cruciate ligament disease in the larger dog.
  • Complete cruciate ligament rupture with associated stifle instability.

Specific

  • Chronic instability of the stifle especially in larger breeds of dog.

Pathophysiology

  • Repeated crushing of the medial meniscus as the femur slides over the caudal aspect of the tibia leads to tearing and detachment of the caudal horn.

Timecourse

  • Can occur at the time of cruciate ligament rupture but is more common with chronic instabilty. Meniscal injuries can also be seen after surgery to stabilize cruciate deficient stifles (so called 'late meniscal' injuries).

Epidemiology

  • Mainly large to giant breed dogs though can be seen in smaller breeds.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Bennet D & May C (1991) Meniscal damage associated with cruciate disease in the dog. JSAP 32 (3), 111-117 VetMedResource.
  • Scavelli T D et al (1990) Partial rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament in the stifle of dogs: 25 cases (1982-1988). JAVMA 196 (7), 1135-1138 PubMed.
  • Cox J S et al (1975) The degenerative effect of partial and total resection of the medial meniscus in dog's knees. Clin Orthop and Relat Res 109, 178-183 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Slatter D (2003) Textbook of Small Animal Surgery. 3rd edn, Saunders.
  • Denny H & Butterworth S (2000) A Guide to Canine and Feline Orthopaedic Surgery.Wiley-Blackwell.


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