Though the ovine stifle is commonly used as a model in research, there is no description of its anatomy at ultrasonography (US). The objective of this study was to provide reference US images of the ovine stifle that are relevant in musculoskeletal research. Four pairs of hindlimbs were scanned, whilst four other pairs were frozen and cut in different planes to compare gross anatomy to US scans. In another pair, the synovial compartments of the stifle were injected and scanned. This study demonstrated that US could be used to assess the ovine stifle. Several structures of clinical interest could be identified with cranial, lateral and medial approaches, such as (a) the tendons of m. quadriceps femoris, m. gluteobiceps, m. popliteus, (b) the common tendon of m. peroneus tertius–extensor longus digitorum–extensor digiti III proprius, (c) the patellar ligament, (d) the medial and lateral collateral ligaments, (e) the cranial horn and middle segment of medial and lateral meniscus, and (f) the synovial recesses. However, the caudal approach was not successful to identify caudal anatomical structures of the joint, due to the muscular mass, that is the caudal aspects of the articular surfaces of the femoral and tibial condyles, the caudal horns of the menisci and the supracondylar synovial recesses. In addition, US remained challenging to assess the internal structures such as cruciate ligaments and articular surfaces. The feasibility of US needs to be tested in vivo.
- animal model