9 year old Irish Sports Horse gelding, 16.2hh with an approximate 3 month history of low grade left hindlimb lameness, with a significant reluctance to flex the left hind limb.
Infrared imaging isolated significant inflammatory activity bilaterally in stifles (L>R). Examination found effusion of the MFTJ on palpation and on ultrasound examination of the left stifle.
There were no other abnormalities visible on ultrasonography of the left stifle. Scintigraphy of the hindlimbs and pelvis was unremarkable, as was radiography of the left stifle. Medication of the medial and lateral femorotibial joints with Adcortyl (triamcinolone acetate} was performed. This produced a significant improvement in the lameness, although it was only short lived. Patient underwent an MRI of the left stifle joint at Three Counties Equine Hospital. Mild to moderate synovitis and mild arthrosis affecting the medial femorotibial joint was observed along with defects affecting the tibial surface and moderate abnormalities in the medial meniscus. Damage was primarily located underlying the medial collateral ligament, with focal extension cranially and caudally to the collateral ligament. Surgery was performed and treatment administered accordingly.
A successful result for infrared imaging, correctly identifying abnormal stifle pathology in the initial stages of the investigation. MRI imaging of the stifles makes case correlation possible and an exciting prospect for further research.