VOS 2019 NeedleView Wetlab Demonstrates Value in Canine Care

For many years, small animal veterinarians had only a few options for canine musculoskeletal diagnostic imaging – namely, x-ray and first-generation ultrasound. The advent of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology and improved ultrasound machines made things better…but still not great. Because these imaging modalities show very little soft tissue, they give an incomplete diagnostic picture. The 1.2mm O.D. NeedleView arthroscope allows vets to document intraarticular findings and obtain a definitive diagnosis in full color and real time…so they can determine the appropriate treatment plan.

More than a dozen small animal vets had the opportunity to use the NeedleView arthroscope in a wetlab setting at the 2019 convention of the Veterinary Orthopedic Society (VOS). The purpose of the wetlab was to familiarize veterinarians with the ease of maneuvering the 1.2mm (18-gauge) needle arthroscope in a joint, processing autologous point-of-care devices, and applying autologous protein solution under visualization. The lab focused on performing joint lameness diagnostics, blood processing through a newly available point-of-care device, and arthroscopic guided administration under visualization on canine cadavers.


View a video with feedback from 2019 VOS NeedleView Wetlab Participants


Instructors for the wetlab were Chad Devitt, DVM, MS, DACVS – VRCC Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Hospital (Englewood, CO); Kristin Kirkby Shaw, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVS, DACVSMR – Animal Surgical Clinic of Seattle (Seattle, WA); and Sam Franklin, MS, DVM, PhD, DACVS, DACVSMR – Colorado Canine Orthopedics & Rehab (Colorado Springs, CO). Dr. Devitt is a NeedleView pioneer, with many years of experience using it for diagnostics in dogs that present with lameness, stiffness, or other symptoms of arthritis.

Feedback from the wetlab participants was uniformly positive. “There’s a lot of applications for me with [NeedleView] – shoulders, elbows, and knees,” said James Simcock, BVSc (Hons), MANZCVS, of Southpaws Specialty and Referral Hospital in Moorabbin, Victoria, Australia. “It seems like a very user-friendly system, and I would definitely use it when I’m out in practice after my residency,” added Amanda Rollins, MVB, a final-year surgery resident at the Animal Medical Center in New York, NY.

New NeedleView Equine Research

Recently-published research highlights novel applications for Biovision Veterinary Endoscopy’s 1.2mm O.D. NeedleView arthroscope in the diagnosis and treatment of equine sinus and fetlock problems.

The use of the NeedleView arthroscope has been documented in research and in practice since 2014 to allow equine practitioners to perform conscious, standing exams of the stifle.1,2 Ensuing research has proven its value in the evaluation of the navicular bursa as well.3 Two recently-published studies have found novel applications.

  • Paranasal sinus: A 2018 study4 explored the use of Biovision’s NeedleView camera in conjunction with a 2mm flexible endoscope for standing, conscious evaluation of the paranasal sinus. The conclusion: “Minimally invasive sinoscopy was readily performed without relevant complications in standing horses. A thorough evaluation of most sinus structures was obtained only using the frontal and the rostral maxillary portals.”
  • Fetlock: A 2019 prospective clinical study2 described the technique, experience and outcome of standing, conscious arthroscopic removal of dorsal osteochondral fragmentation of the metacarpophalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joint using Biovision’s 1.2-mm NeedleView arthroscope. The conclusion: “All fragments were successfully removed and needle arthroscopy allowed a thorough evaluation of the dorsal aspect of the joint. The technique offers an alternative for standing fetlock arthroscopy for surgeons concerned about equipment damage or portability.”

NeedleView Equine Clinical Research References

1 Frisbie DD, Barrett MF, McIlwraith CW, and Ullmer J. Diagnostic stifle joint arthroscopy using a needle arthroscope in standing horses. Vet Surg. 2014 Jan;43(1):12-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-950X.2013.12068.x. Epub 2013 Oct 31.

2 Adrian AM, Barrett MF, Werpy NM, et al. A comparison of arthroscopy to ultrasonography for identification of pathology of the equine stifle. Equine Vet J. 2015 Nov 18. doi: 10.1111/evj.12541. [Epub ahead of print]

3 Mahlmann K, Koch C, and Bodo G. Diagnostic endoscopy of the navicular bursa using a needle endoscope by direct or transthecal approach: a comparative cadaver study. Vet Surg. 2015;44:816-824.

4 Pouyet M and Bonilla A. Validation of a 2-mm videoendoscope for the evaluation of the paranasal sinuses with a minimally invasive technique. Vet Surg. 2019;1-11.

5 Bonilla, Alvaro G. Standing Needle Arthroscopy of the Metacarpophalangeal and Metatarsophalangeal Joint for Removal of Dorsal Osteochondral Fragmentation in 21 Horses. Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology, 2019, doi:10.1055/s-0039-1688984.