Surgical versus conservative management of osteochondrosis

Vet J. 2013 Jul;197(1):19-28. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.03.037. Epub 2013 Jun 7.


The paper reviews current knowledge on conservative versus surgical options for the treatment of osteochondrosis entities in the horse. Clinical and radiographic signs of each significant osteochondrosis entity in the horse are presented, followed by the value of conservative treatment versus arthroscopic surgery options as well as the results for each option with the various entities. The entities presented in detail include, osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) of the femoropatellar, tarsocrural, metacarpophalangeal and metatarsophalangeal, and glenohumural articulations. The various treatment options for subchondral cystic lesions of the medial femoral condyle are detailed with evidence for the value of various treatments and subchondral cystic lesions in other locations are briefly reviewed.

Keywords: Arthroscopic surgery; Conservative treatment; Equine; Osteochondrosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthroscopy / methods
  • Arthroscopy / veterinary*
  • Horse Diseases / therapy*
  • Horses
  • Osteochondrosis / drug therapy
  • Osteochondrosis / surgery
  • Osteochondrosis / veterinary*