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Discussion on Torn joint capsule and others--will she be the same again?

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Annetta Tinsman
Username: horsewiz

Post Number: 6
Registered: 8-2009
Posted on Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 - 11:04 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


My 17 year old Arabian mare (endurance horse) has never given me any problems. We went on the trail about a month ago and she was limping at a trot. I took her back to the barn and didn't notice any swelling or heat. The next day she was swollen right above her left fetlock. We wrapped it and put DMSO on it for awhile, but it wasn't really healing.

We took her to the vet last week and this was the prognosis:
-Torn suspensory and sesamoidean ligeaments
-She tore her joint capsule
and also capsullitis (but not synovitis)

The vet said several months worth of stall rest and a year without riding (start handwalking her after a few months in a straight line), but that she'd never be able to do any hard riding again.

I was wondering if anyone else has had this happen to them and were successfully able to train, compete, etc with their horse afterward. Any success stories? Any similar experiences?
Is there a chance that we'll prove him wrong?

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Vicki Z
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 1642
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 - 4:31 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

So sorry to hear about this injury and how long the recuperation is expected to take.

There are some amazing new treatments for some of these tears that might speed things and improve the outlook.

I have not personally experienced tears of that nature in horses on my farm but did have a good healing experience with a dorsal sacral ligament tear that healed much more quickly and thoroughly than we dared to hope or were told to expect.

Good luck -- sometimes these things do go much better than expected.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: dro

Post Number: 24401
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Jan 24, 2010 - 9:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Anetta,
I am sorry to hear about your horses accident. Concerning an accurate prognosis the devil is in the details: where are the tears in these structures, how large are these tears (or more importantly how much undamaged tissue remains), and which sesamoidean ligaments are involved.

Large lesions in these structures will warrant such a guarded prognosis. Smaller lesions may have a better prognosis. We may be able to comment on a detailed report of the ultrasound findings but we are commenting on the findings of another.

If the ultrasound exam was recorded you could have your veterinarian send it to another experienced equine orthopedic surgeon for a second appraisal. If it was not, a referral to the second surgeon itself would be a good way to gain another perspective.
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