So my 6 yr. old OTTB whom I have had for 3 months has somehow reinjured an old track injury to his RH deep digital flexor tendon. Came up very lame in the pasture the other day. Vet did an ultrasound and is suggesting tendonoscopy surgery. He has been on stall rest and is being cold-hosed twice/day plus bute and stable bandages. After three days there is no heat in it and he is walking fine, but there is still quite a bit of fluid and swelling above the joint. Vet will come out in 5 days to do a re evaluation. Since I am a teacher on a very limited budget I am worried about the prognosis and whether he will make a full recovery even with surgery costing several thousands of dollars. I was hoping he would become a low level hunter - 3 ft tops. Does anyone have experience with this particular problem and all the various kinds of therapy - shock wave, stem cell, PRP, etc. Costs and outcomes? I know it is very hard to predict, just trying to get as much info as I can in order to make the best decision.
I am so sorry you are going through this with your new guy. My mare lacerated her right hind long digital extensor tendon. I'm a teacher as well, so I took the least invasive, most cost effective route. I don't know if this will help you at all because this is a different tendon, but I figured I would share.
This is my mare's third month on stall rest. The first month was strict stall rest in standing bandages. She had sutures in that needed cleaned, so I would clean and change the bandage every one to two days.
After one month, the sutures came out and we did an ultrasound. It showed effusion of the tarsocrural joint and significant tendonitis. At that point I started a handwalking regimen. I started with 5 minutes per day for the first week and increased by 5 minutes every 5 days. I purchased (http://www.thermos.com/products/18-cube-ice-mat.aspx) these at CVS, they sell them 2 for $5, and iced her for twenty minutes every day after handwalking.
Every month we do another ultrasound to check progress.
Aside from the daily time requirement and monthly ultrasound, about $170, this has been a fairly cost effective rehab program.
Can you get a second opinion on your guy's injury? Perhaps you could have the vet reevaluate after 30 days of stall rest and cold hosing?
I have gone the long slow route. Once with a horse who at the 7 mo mark, broke loose went ripping around a muddy field, and had to be restarted all over again.
Eventually I had that horse doing second level work before another problem came up.
Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.