Development of a Novel Medial Synoviocentesis Approach to the Bicipital Bursa in an Equine Cadaver Model

Milosz Grabski, Jenny M McNamara, Darren P Roper, Chris M R Warren-Smith, Evita Busschers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


OBJECTIVE: To describe the volume and dimensions of the bicipital bursa and its position in relation to bony and soft tissue structures, in order to develop a novel medial synoviocentesis approach to the bicipital bursa.

STUDY DESIGN: Cadaveric study.

ANIMALS: Adult equine cadaver limbs (n=19).

METHODS: Bicipital bursa dimensions, volume, and relationship to bony structures were obtained from positive contrast computed tomography images after distension of the bursa (n=7). Following an intra-bursal injection of polyurethane resin, the bicipital bursa (n=4) was dissected and its relationship to soft tissue structures described. After computed tomography and dissection, a novel medial bicipital bursocentesis approach was investigated on intact cadavers (n=8).

RESULTS: Median (range) of measurements were: length 9.02 cm (8.48-9.45 cm); width 7.06 cm (6.71-8.01 cm); and volume 51 mL (45-58 mL). The medial aspect of the bicipital bursa was located at the junction of the subclavius and biceps muscles, which corresponds with the externally visible lateral pectoral sulcus. Needle insertion 5-10 mm craniolateral to the center of the lateral pectoral sulcus midway between the palpable distal aspect of the deltoid tuberosity and the cranial part of the greater tubercle was found to be a reliable landmark for the novel medial bursocentesis approach. This approach was successful in all cadavers.

CONCLUSION: The novel approach to the bicipital bursa provided access to the medial aspect of the bursa and is an alternative to the lateral approaches. Further validation in live horses is warranted to establish the safety and efficacy of this technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-528
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Surgery
Issue number4
Early online date7 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • Animals
  • Bursa, Synovial
  • Bursitis
  • Cadaver
  • Contrast Media
  • Horse Diseases
  • Horses
  • Injections
  • Paracentesis
  • Shoulder Joint
  • Tendons
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of a Novel Medial Synoviocentesis Approach to the Bicipital Bursa in an Equine Cadaver Model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this