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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2010
    Posts
    14

    Default Removal of Splint bone and future limitations

    I have posted two threads about my horses fractured splint situation. Unfortunately, we have had to opt for surgery to have the splint shaved down and the doctor said they will also remove the splint bone. REMOVING THE SPLINT BONE? WHAT?!?!? I asked him as many questions as I can to try and understand this logic but it just doesnt make sense to me. They are removing a bone that is supposed to be there? Won't this limit his future? Is it a supporting bone? I just dont get it. Any insight, COTHers?

    Also, it doesnt look like the suspensory will really be damaged but they won't know until they "dig in". He said if all goes well we are looking at 30 days confinement then start back slowly under saddle. Crossing my fingers



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2010
    Posts
    1,099

    Default

    the splint bone is non supporting. my mare had hers broken into a hundred little pieces, it is not longer there, the broken pieces got resorbed by the body. she is quite sound and happy. We do dressage and have opted to not cross train her jumping just for safety but the vet says we can. We just choose not to.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2012
    Posts
    95

    Default

    I will repost what I posted on your other threads:

    "Considering your screenname, I'm guessing you are hoping for this horse to event...

    I would encourage you to consider having the lower splint bone removed, provided that it is a distal fracture. Healed fractures of the splint bone that are quite large run a risk of continued suspensory irritation for the rest of the their career...they come sound, get going, get you excited about their future, and then go lame. And the cycle repeats. Now, that may not happen -- the splint may never irritate the suspensory -- but you take a gamble leaving it in, versus removing it and knowing you won't have to deal with a suspensory concern down the road."

    Just "shaving off" the splint does not have a very good prognosis. Splints that are not fractures are calcifications that result from damage to the periosteum. Smoothing down the bone, by process, is damage to the periosteum...and often results in the splint returning to the same size if not bigger. The body's healing process is actually what produces a non-fracture-splint.

    Removal of the affected portion of the splint bone, provided it is fairly distal, is like removing an infected appendix. It can stay in there if it's not going to cause an issue, but once it interferes, it better come out. The surgery is not difficult, the recovery is not very long, and the risk of NOT doing it is worse.

    Also, to quote an accomplished lameness veterinarian, "God gave horses splint bones so vets like me would have something to do in the winter."


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 30, 2006
    Posts
    576

    Default

    I don't know anything about your situation, but my horse had portions of both splint bones on the left hind leg removed and she was good to go. I was cautious on rehab because of possible suspensory involvement, but it wasn't an issue. Horse never had a problem afterwards.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2010
    Posts
    289

    Default

    My Clydesdale mare had her splint bone removed after it was shattered by a kick from another draft mare. She had a young foal at her side, and I did not want to trailer them, so the vet did the removal in the barn with local blocks. If the removal had been done at the clinic, it is likely a small part of the bone would not have been left behind (no portable x ray) and we worried it would aggrate the suspensory, but that never happened. It has not caused any problems, although she is not a performance horse.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 7, 2003
    Location
    Mudville, GA ;-)
    Posts
    9,177

    Default

    Mr. Studly had his splint bone removed because an old injury had calcified in such a way that the splintered end of the bone began to irritate his suspensory.
    The splint bone had also 'fused' to the large bone and made it impossible to remove entirely. It was not an especially difficult surgery or recovery, but as Training Level mentioned, if it had been removed when the injury occured, he would not have had the suspensory issue later.
    Y'all ain't right!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2010
    Posts
    2,245

    Default

    Sisters mare had her splint bone removed after it was shattered in a pasture accident. The surgery went well although the mare hated the stall rest. She came back 100% sound. She is a lower level mare but has never given an indication that her limitations are tied to a weakness with that leg.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 12, 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    181

    Default

    My prior gelding kicked a pipe and cable fence playing out in the pasture, fractured the splint bone and it dropped down into the ankle joint. Needleess to say, it had to be removed. The leg never gave him any problems at all afterwards. Never stocked up, was sore, etc. When I switched trainers, the new trainer (who is awesome - still with him off and on 13 years later) didn't believe me about the surgery as it healed with basically no scar as well. It never affected his career - the limiting factor for him was his horrible case of anhydrosis.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2011
    Posts
    128

    Default

    A Friesian gelding I had a few years ago had one of his front splint bones removed. He re-injured an old cold splint and the resulting calcification was irritating his suspensory. The surgery went well and he has been completely sound since then (I no longer own him but sold him to a friend who uses him as a lower level dressage school horse).



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2009
    Posts
    6,000

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CCISuperStar View Post
    I have posted two threads about my horses fractured splint situation. Unfortunately, we have had to opt for surgery to have the splint shaved down and the doctor said they will also remove the splint bone. REMOVING THE SPLINT BONE? WHAT?!?!? I asked him as many questions as I can to try and understand this logic but it just doesnt make sense to me. They are removing a bone that is supposed to be there? Won't this limit his future? Is it a supporting bone? I just dont get it. Any insight, COTHers?

    Also, it doesnt look like the suspensory will really be damaged but they won't know until they "dig in". He said if all goes well we are looking at 30 days confinement then start back slowly under saddle. Crossing my fingers
    You might read the article that was published in Equus based upon the work of Gary M Baxter, VDM, MS

    Rethinking splint bone injuries
    Historically, the splint bones have been thought to provide axial stability to the carpus and tarsus, and “splints” are thought to occur from excessive concussion of the proximal forelimb splint bones. However, recent work suggests that the proximal aspect of the splint bones may be very important in providing rotational stability of the carpus/tarsus and that the 2/3rds rule of splint bone removal may be inaccurate. The role of the splint bone in carpal/tarsal stability will be discussed together with a variety of splint injuries and fractures.



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