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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2012

    Default Stifle ultrasound results, injections and turnout on hills?

    So, the previous story here:!

    Ultrasound results: Everything looked okay but she has extra fluid in the joint. He said that its clean though and not full of junk so thats positive. Says it shows she has had a chronic problem, which we know. He recommends skipping the nerve blocks and injecting the stifle. Has anyone had similiar ultrasound results?

    What kind of rest period should I expect with a stifle injection? She is currently turned out on a large pasture, half flat and half very steep hillside. Will she be able to return to normal turnout out on the hill right after the injection? I dont have the option of a paddock so it would either be stall rest or out on the hill.

    I got the talk about making choices for her based on her condition that will lengthen the amount of time she is comfortable and Im able to use her. The vet hinted that the big hill might not be the best thing for her with her stifle issue. Im worried because this barn is the best barn in the area and I really worry that Im going to have to move her. I love love love my barn. The BO is amazing, the care is great, and I have worked at, taken lessons at, or boarded at almost every other barn in the area and I KNOW my place is the best. I moved there about 3 months ago and I finally feel like Im at "home" here but her stifle problem did start to show up again, which is why I decided to go ahead and have the diagnostic work done. So honestly, I do think its worse out on the hill. At the previous place, her stifle problem was almost never an issue but the situation with the BO was not good

    But, on the other hand, being out on the hill strengthens her hind end so maybe she would actually benefit from staying out there? I would hope that she would self limit herself and not go up if she was feeling sore but they spread hay up there and she's a foodie.

    Sorry this is long. Thanks for reading.
    Last edited by ActNatural; May. 7, 2013 at 08:22 PM. Reason: clearer

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2006
    SE VA


    I've seen a vast array of post-injection protocols on COTH so your vet may suggest something different, AND my horses did not have an injury like yours, but here was the protocol after my horse had his right stifle injected:

    For stifle injection:
    Day of/night after - stall rest
    Day 2 through 5 - quiet turnout (no running around or else back to stall + hand walking) - 1 gram bute AM/PM day 2,3,4
    Day 6 - back to regular romping-allowed turnout
    Day 6,7,8 - easy w/t, no hills, circles, or asking for lots of bending, collection, etc
    Day 9,10 - add in some canter
    Day 11,12 - regular flat work + a few small fences
    Day 13 - back to regular work
    "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2005


    I would work with your vet on this, because the answer depends on the nature of the stifle issue(s).

    If she's got an injury that requires rest or limited movement - at least in the acute phase - obviously the hill will do her no good. OTOH, controlled exercise can be achieved with some combo of stall rest, hand-walking, and riding.

    If her issue is laxity of the ligaments - which is what many people ASSume as soon as they hear the word "stifle" - then the hill is beneficial.

    ETA - My experience with joint injections is a much quicker return to turn-out and work than what LDavis posted above (more like 1 day in the stall and total of a week to return to full work), but you have the added complication of a possible injury with that slip she took.
    "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001


    I am in the middle of this myself. Purchased mare off the track this summer. Was slightly off in right stifle. Ultrasound showed slight strain to MCL. Prognosis was good with time, vet advised to recheck.

    We rechecked two weeks ago. Ultrasound showed all structures in stifle normal, but still quite a bit of fluid/inflammation in the joint. Vet advised injecting. Gave options of steroid/HA or IRAP. Due to evidence that steroid/HA actually slows healing of soft tissue (I can send you this article, if you'd like) and that vet feels IRAP is generally waaaaaay more effective in the stifle, we chose IRAP.

    Drew blood for IRAP that day, injected the following Monday. Horse went right back out into her 3.5 acre field with her friend. She's not being ridden, so no instructions there. She has her second injection next Monday (which is two weeks after the first.) Prognosis is excellent.

    If you have not considered IRAP, you might want to

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