I have a freebie I picked up off the track. While in training she chipped a knee and the owner went ahead and paid for the knee surgery but she just never came back keen enough to try racing (all according to her trainer).
After 60 days turn out she's been under saddle for 60 days and doing great. Not one step wrong and has been 100% on the knee.
As I'm new to the world of knee chips and such I've reached out to a few people to find out what if any limitations she should have. 1 vet says, nothing but trails, farrier says, whatever she tolerates, other trainers say light jumping but nothing big and so on. So many opinions!
I keep her in front shoes and a joint supplement but nothing else.
Just wondering on opinions, what kind of limitations if any will there be on her career? I'm guessing I'm going to get more of the same and no consensus but hoping for a little more insight.
Totally depends on the damage the chip did to the knee and how long it was floating around in there before it was removed. Damage is going to = arthritis and it will be the arthritis that will limit the horse.
I'd likely want radiographs now to evaluate current bony changes and as a baseline for any future changes.
Ok, I've asked my farrier's vet to come out with the machine, to see but she keeps forgetting it.
My farrier who is also a TB trainer also recommended I have the vet clean out the knee and add some more fluid to prevent any further damage. So many opinions. . .and $ to be spent.
Clean out the knee? What the heck does that mean? Presumably that was done when they did the surgery. You probably will need to inject it from time to time, maybe once a year.
It really depends on scarring from the surgery, and if it affected the other bones in there, etc.
There are lots of horses who had chips (some who never had them removed) who are fully capable of a jumping career. Also lots who really need to have work limited. I would not trust the prognosis from any vet or farrier without them first looking at current radiographs.
In the meantime, pay close attention, build the horse back up slowly, and see how it goes. If the chip was small, located in a reasonably non-harmful way, and the surgery was well done, I imagine that the horse should be pretty useful, with you paying attention for arthritis and perhaps doing injections here and there.
Totally depends on the horse and the chip. We sold a horse with a knee chip (after he'd had ~4 months of stall rest, no surgery) to an event rider and he's doing great, no problems whatsoever.
I'm guessing "cleaning out" means tapping also. Which would be fine if you had an actual issue. The chip has been removed (to your knowledge), I agree about having a current xray done to see what you really have.
Signs to watch out for, obviously lameness, but also heat and swelling. After strenuous excersise you can cold hose for 20 minutes.
When have an OTTB that my wife bought back with her from the track after dropping a 2 year old off that we had sold. She said he was such a pretty well made grey she figured he might be worth re-schooling. Thought we were downsizing. I said ya he is a pretty horse from above the knees up.
His knees had “puffy” areas from where chips had been taken out. Kind of hard to sell a horse with knees like that. I talked with the trainer, who I knew, and told me what had been done. Never bothered to look any closer. He has turned out just fine. Decent jumper, nice packer that just about anybody can ride. Fun to hunt also.
I would get a qualified sports vet to take a couple of pictures and see what they show and go from there. Free is always the cheapest part of the equation. Especially when it comes to horses.
There are so many different factors with chips in knees. Was it the top or bottom joint? Top joint has a better success rate, but most chips are in the bottom joint. Was it one chip, or multiples. How long was the chip in there before being removed? Was the joint injected with cortisone? How long was the horse given time off after the surgery? Was he lame after the surgery, if so, for how long?
Every horse is different, and depending on the answers you have for these questions, you'll have abetter idea of how much your horse will be able to do. We've had horses that we've given 6 months off because they had a chip in there knee, which turned out he'd had a hairline fracture, and he came back to win stakes races the following year. Then we've had others that, although we removed the chips, they had to be retired as there was too much damage to the joint. I would avoid going into the joint if you don't have to. You could give home Adequan shots, or Legend shots. Those will help the cartiledge/synovial fluid in the joint. You could also X-ray, just to have a look at how the joint looks. Your horse will let you know what you can do. Make sure you keep an eye out for heat and/or fluid in the joint, and if he's a willing participant, do some small jumps, then work up if he's fine.