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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2003
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    Default Any good experiences with coming back from fractured coffin bone?

    My 8 yr old gelding was recently diagnosed with a fracture of the coffin bone wing and has started his 4 months of stall rest to heal. Surfing the internet for information, I have sent myself into deeper depression worrying that he may never be quite the same.

    I was told that his break is the best one to have with no joint involvment which is good news but I still worry.

    So I am hoping to hear of some success stories of healing and coming back to their previous level of performance. He is currently a 2'6 - 3'0 hunter.

    Thanks!
    "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." --Ghandi



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2000
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    Southern Pines, N.C.
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    11,579

    Default

    This will parobably depress you more, but Ihad a horse with a fractured coffin bone. After lay up and rehab he was still slightly off. My vet suggested heel nerving, so I did (at UC Davis). He was sound for hacking then. I don't know about jumping because I would never jump a nerved horse. So I gave him to a very nice girl who only wanted to hack and he had a wonderful life.

    IF you ever decide to nerve a horse, go to a major vet center. I had heard stories about neuromas and reattachment of the nerves after nerving and I wanted him to have the best shot at success. He never had another problem after that, and he truly had a long and pain free life.

    Since he still had feeling in his toe, I was told that he could jump, but he had been a 3'6" A/O horse and he would never have jumped that high again, so it was better that he found a home where jumping was not expected of him.
    "I used to have money, now I have horses."


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
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    7,376

    Default

    I knew a few that had the broken coffin bone wing, got the Farrier out to shoe the horse for holding hoof in place during the healing. Used a bar shoe of some kind to be rigid, not allowing flex during stall rest, healing time so the bone stayed in place to knit.

    Has been quite a while, so I am not remembering those smaller details. I know the bones healed, but this was several different animals, which I do think went back to work. Again, unsure on how hard that work was.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2006
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    3,492

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Helpus View Post
    This will parobably depress you more, but Ihad a horse with a fractured coffin bone. After lay up and rehab he was still slightly off. My vet suggested heel nerving, so I did (at UC Davis). He was sound for hacking then. I don't know about jumping because I would never jump a nerved horse. So I gave him to a very nice girl who only wanted to hack and he had a wonderful life.

    IF you ever decide to nerve a horse, go to a major vet center. I had heard stories about neuromas and reattachment of the nerves after nerving and I wanted him to have the best shot at success. He never had another problem after that, and he truly had a long and pain free life.

    Since he still had feeling in his toe, I was told that he could jump, but he had been a 3'6" A/O horse and he would never have jumped that high again, so it was better that he found a home where jumping was not expected of him.
    This has been my experience.
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2003
    Location
    Pennsylvania
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    193

    Default Positive Reinforcement

    My mare fractured her Coffin Bone a couple years ago.
    Similar to riskybusiness, I was also told by my vet at diagnosis that the break did not involve joint, giving a good prognosis.
    My farrier did give her specialized shoeing for healing support, and she is now perfectly sound and schooling 2nd/3rd level work.

    Good Luck!!!
    Carol

    www.HorseGiftsandArt.com offers a unique selection of horse art, jewelry, gifts, plush horses and equestrian home decor



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2010
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    606

    Default

    I have a 17 year old mare that broke her coffin bone about 5 or 6 years ago with her previous owner. Like yours, it was just the wing tip and didn't involve the joint. After her rehab she was fine. She wore shoes and pads for the first few years but now she is just in regular shoes for support. They retired her from eventing and only did the occasional low level jump for fun. I don't jump her since dressage is more my thing but that doesn't keep her from jumping my 5 ' gates when ever she feels like it. She's solid as a rock and actually vetted out great for her age. Just the expected wear and tear of a former eventer.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 20, 2004
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    North East
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    Default

    I know a horse that had a fractured coffin bone (I'm not sure which part) that continued to compete and win in the Juniors for at least five years afterwards.
    friend of bar*ka



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2010
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    Default

    I found out mine had fractured her coffin bone when I ran into one of her old owners several years after buying her (we didn't do feet rads during PPE). Despite her multitude of other issues the coffin bone was never an issue for her. She broke it at 2 so it could be that her age played a role in the healing process.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 18, 2003
    Location
    Brenham, TX
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    Default There is definitely hope!

    My almost 17hh 1,400 lb warmblood mare had a non-displaced wing fracture 3 years ago and is good as new! 100% sound. Does 3rd level dressage and also jumps 2'3" for fun. No reason she can't jump higher - she is just a bit looky at fences and I have another mare that is my "real" hunter.

    Now, her initial recovery did take longer than they thought. They said 3-4 months and it was closer to 5-6 months before she was sound.

    She was barefoot before the injury because she has wonderful, large feet. However, she had to have front shoes on during her recovery (bar shoe witih multiple clips on the injured foot.) Then just after she recovered from the fractured coffin bone in front, she did something to her right hind foot. So, we put hind shoes on also and she still has 4 shoes on today. The vet basically said that even though she has wonderful feet, she is a *big* girl and the extra support of shoes would be helpful. As an added bonus, her medium trot went from okay to fabulous once we added the hind shoes!
    Triple J Ranch Sporthorses
    www.triplejsporthorse.com
    Member - OMGiH I LOFF my mare(s) clique



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2005
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    Default

    I've had two. One was articular in a front foot. The horse was practically non-weight bearing initially and it took us a while to determine the fracture was there because he also had a huge abcess in that foot. This was before the days of portable digital xrays (well, only the clinics had them!) so we finally shipped the horse for a film and found the fracture. We used a continuous rim shoe (which I think works better than a bar shoe with lots of clips) to essentially "cast" the foot and keep it from expanding upon bearing weight. This and three rounds of shockwave (along with several months stall rest) did the trick. The horse came 100% sound and never look back. We did inject the coffin joint before starting the horse back in work.

    Second horse was similar to Grace's, old wing fracture found on radiographs years after I aquired the horse. This horse had bruised his heel and was slightly off but we decided to take a set of baseline films to have on hand. We put him in heartbars for heel support and he's been going ever since. Horse is 24 and still showing!

    Don't lose hope--just find yourself one kick-ass farrier.
    Quote Originally Posted by EquineImagined View Post
    My subconscious is a wretched insufferable beotch.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 11, 2001
    Location
    Pennsylvania,Zone ll
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    2,186

    Default I second the importance of a proactive Farrier.

    I've had two coffin bone fractures. One was a TB off the track....after six months of rest in bar shoes he went on to show for another 15 years in top competition. \
    The other one was never lame to my knowledge, but when he was vetted by a prospective buyer, the xrays revealed that he had a non union of a coffin bone fracture. That nixed the deal, and he went on to hunt in Cheshire Country for another 15 years , always sound!
    "Over the Hill?? What Hill, Where?? I don't remember any hill!!!" Favorite Tee Shirt



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 20, 2011
    Posts
    444

    Default

    Get the special shoe made by a good farrier and make sure the horse is medicated while on stall risk if it is a kicker, or put a kicking chain on the affected foot. Then find something else to ride for the next six months and everything will work out. They heal but it takes awhile and the stall rest is extra important.



  13. #13
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    Mar. 20, 2011
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    444

    Default

    stall "rest"



  14. #14
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    Jan. 16, 2003
    Location
    Tennessee
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    Default

    A while back I started a thread called "coffin bone stress fracture and collateral ligament injury." I kept updating it with my horse's progress as we went along. We are about sixteen months post injury and he's jumping and pretty much like he was never injured. We haven't done any showing yet, but we should be able to. Good luck with your horse.
    It's 2014. Do you know where your old horse is?



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2010
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    290

    Default

    One of my Clydesdales broke the coffin bone on his right hind. There was some joint involvement. The vet clinic had someone who had worked with drafts before and he had their farrier build a special show with a medicine late welded to the bottom. It was re-set every six weeks. It kept the hoof from expanding which made it act like a cast. He had four months of total stall rest...could not come out at all. Four months later, he was still amazingly fit for some reason, which made the hand walking a bit dangerous. But a few months of hand-walking followed by rehab by riding him (even though he is a driving horse) and he is as good as new. Back to competing and doing well. And he is an almost-a-ton guy. There is definately hope if you do the right things.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2003
    Location
    Penna.
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    Default

    Thank you for all your responses, they have definitely made me feel better about our chances at returning to our previous level of work.

    He was put in a continuous bar shoe with clips the next day and is (so far) handling stall rest very well. In the shoe he is now sound at the walk from what I can observe. I do believe I have a "kick-ass" farrier and good support from my vet, so it seems we are on the right track.

    I broke my foot last year and now this year he broke his. Hopefully we are all done with this kind of nonsense and can get on with having some fun!
    "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." --Ghandi



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2003
    Location
    VT
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    Default

    My 4 yr old just fractured his coffin bone and it involves the joint. We were not given a very good prognosis for future soundness/longevity in work, so we decided to send him to New Bolton for surgery with Dr. Richardson. He said he will heel 100%, if he doesn't get an infection from the surgery.

    I'm curious what sort of prognosis the people who went the conservative route and had a sound horse at the end were given at the beginning?



  18. #18
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    Jan. 16, 2003
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    Tennessee
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    Default

    The MRI report my horse got said "guarded prognosis for full recovery and return to competitive soundness." We decided to give it a go anyway. The outcome was better than the vet my trainer expected.
    It's 2014. Do you know where your old horse is?



  19. #19
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    May. 5, 2006
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    My senior Appaloosa gelding fractured both front coffin bones. It took almost a year, but he did come back and was comfortable and sound for riding. Each fracture was in the wing, and my vet said he would eventually resorb the broken fragment. Which he did.

    The farrier specialized in corrective work, and he did the first several rounds at the vet's office. It cost a small fortune in farrier bills, but it worked.
    Sheilah



  20. #20
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    Jan. 26, 2010
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    Default

    My horse broke his coffin bone when he was about 11. Put bar shoes on him and pretty much never stopped riding. About 9 months later the bar shoes came off. He was a super sound horse and remained so until I lost him at 31.



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