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Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2013;26(1):42-6. doi: 10.3415/VCOT-11-10-0153. Epub 2012 Nov 14.

Detection of meniscal tears by arthroscopy and arthrotomy in dogs with cranial cruciate ligament rupture: a retrospective, cohort study.

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  • 1Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.



To evaluate and compare detection of meniscal tears associated with cranial cruciate ligament insufficiency by either arthroscopy or arthrotomy.


A retrospective, cohort study was completed with stifles (n = 531) of dogs with cranial cruciate ligament rupture. Either a medial parapatellar arthrotomy or an arthroscopy procedure was performed and groups were compared for significant differences in meniscal tears detected using logistic regression analysis.


Arthroscopy was performed on 58.8% and arthrotomy on 41.2% of the stifles. In total, 44.4% of the examined stifles had meniscal tears. Meniscal tears were found in 38.8% of the stifles examined by arthrotomy, and 48.4% of those examined by arthroscopy. Overall, the rate of detection of a meniscal tear was significantly different (p = 0.019) between the groups, and meniscal tears were observed more frequently by arthroscopy than by arthrotomy (odds ratio 1.54; 95% confidence interval 1.07 - 2.22).


These results suggest that arthroscopy may be more sensitive than arthrotomy for detection of meniscal pathology in clinical patients. However, these results must be interpreted with caution since this was a retrospective study. Randomized prospective clinical studies are required to further test this hypothesis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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