History of veterinary arthroscopy

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The first use of arthroscopy in European veterinary surgery occurred in horses, and by the mid-1980s, arthroscopy in equine surgery was becoming commonplace. Today, arthroscopy for the diagnosis and treatment of equine orthopaedic diseases is well accepted and routine. The development of arthroscopy in small animal surgery has lagged behind that of the human and equine fields because of the lack of instrumentation for small joints, cost of equipment, and skepticism regarding its practicality and efficacy. The initial description of the use of an arthroscope in dogs was done by Siemering, who reported findings of stifle arthroscopies and concluded that the instrumentation was useful in the diagnosis of diseases of the canine stifle joint. At about the same time, Bennett and Kivumbi from of the United Kingdom reported the usefulness of arthroscopy for the canine stifle joint. Techniques in small animal arthroscopy were substantially advanced by the work of Pearson who reported the technique of arthroscopy of the canine stifle, shoulder, and coxofemoral joint and described the first successful use of arthroscopy in the treatment of osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) of the shoulder. Since that time, the field of small animal arthroscopy has developed through publications in Europe and the United States of advanced techniques, the development of instrumentation specifically designed for small animal arthroscopy, and the establishment of practical demonstration courses worldwide.