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Proceedings Paper

Pulsed CO2 laser for intra-articular cartilage vaporization and subchondral bone perforation in horses
Author(s): Alan J. Nixon; Jerry E. Roth; Lennart Per Krook
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Paper Abstract

A pulsed carbon dioxide laser was used to vaporize articular cartilage in four horses, and perforate the cartilage and subchondral bone in four horses. Both intercarpal joints were examined arthroscopically and either a 1 cm cartilage crater or a series of holes was created in the third carpal bone of one joint. The contralateral carpus served as a control. The horses were evaluated clinically for 8 weeks, euthanatized and the joints examined radiographically, grossly, and histologically. Pulsed carbon dioxide laser vaporized cartilage readily but penetrated bone poorly. Cartilage vaporization resulted in no greater swelling, heat, pain on flexion, lameness, or synovial fluid reaction than the sham procedure. Laser drilling resulted in a shallow, charred hole with a tenacious carbon residue, and in combination with the thermal damage to deeper bone, resulted in increased swelling, mild lameness and a low-grade, but persistent synovitis. Cartilage removal by laser vaporization resulted in rapid regrowth with fibrous and fibrovascular tissue and occasional regions of fibrocartilage at week 8. The subchondral bone, synovial membrane, and draining lymph nodes appeared essentially unaffected by the laser cartilage vaporization procedure. Conversely, carbon dioxide laser drilling of subchondral bone resulted in poor penetration, extensive areas of thermal necrosis of bone, and significant secondary damage to the apposing articular surface of the radial carpal bone. The carbon dioxide laser is a useful intraarticular instrument for removal of cartilage and has potential application in inaccessible regions of diarthrodial joints. It does not penetrate bone sufficiently to have application in subchondral drilling.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 1991
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 1424, Lasers in Orthopedic, Dental, and Veterinary Medicine, (1 May 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.44007
Show Author Affiliations
Alan J. Nixon, Cornell Univ. College of Veterinary Medicine (United States)
Jerry E. Roth, Cornell Univ. College of Veterinary Medicine (United States)
Lennart Per Krook, Cornell Univ. College of Veterinary Medicine (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1424:
Lasers in Orthopedic, Dental, and Veterinary Medicine
Stephen J. O'Brien; Douglas N. Dederich; Harvey Wigdor; Ava Micky Trent, Editor(s)

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