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High Suspensory Injury LH - any experts, thoughts?

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  • Original Poster

    Originally posted by vicarious View Post
    In a nutshell! High suspensory injury. A year on stall rest .

    Still unsound.

    Surgery, stall rest slow turn out, sound , slowly rehabbed. After a few set backs, almost back to full work a year and a half after surgery. Then a crash, terribly lame again. This time turn out, and walking u/s. Now 11 mo later, looking quite sound. Rider on lay/up for past 8 weeks.

    Stay tuned for next exciting episode!!!
    Wow, you've had quite a time, thank you for sharing and good for you to still have a little sense of humour about it.

    I am leaning toward getting a second opinion, but I'm keeping my expectations low.
    On the slightly brighter side, a friend of mine with three TB/Percheron horses, who she mainly trail rides and fox hunts occasionally, offered me a care lease on my favourite one. The mare leans more to the TB side in her confirmation and is quite well behaved, so I may take her up on that. She has zero dressage training, but she does jump. She might be fun to bring along so that I can do low level stuff on her, we'll see. Still sick about my gelding though.
    Thanks for all the wisdom


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by quietann View Post
      Do take a look at this thread:


      Now this concerns a particular type of suspensory injury and surgery, but there is a LOT of good general information about rehab there. A few positive endings, a few middling, a few, sadly, negative. (I am in the middling to positive group.)

      But do, please, start with an ultrasound so you know what you're dealing with!
      Thank you so much


      • #23
        I'm not an expert and can only relate our own experience, which is still ongoing. We acquired a mare who appeared sound, but after the vet manipulated her hind legs and then trotted her out, the vet diagnosed her with a rear suspensory. Ultrasound showed a significant lesion. The plan was to rehab her over several months and then (hopefully) bring her back to jumping at a much lower level than before. We did 3 shockwave treatments, about 3 months of walking only, then gradually increasing trot sets, and finally some canter. We've had her almost 5 months and the vet said she has basically recovered and can start jumping cross-rails and such.

        She looks great, but I hold my breath every time she jumps a cross-rail and every time she goes out in the pasture.

        She'll never be asked to go back to the level she was before. The hope is just that she can stay sound and happy doing little 2 foot jumps. I believe the vet was optimistic in her case partly because she moved sound even with the injury as it initially presented. Fingers crossed...


        • #24
          High suspensory

          Thanks everyone for posting their success with this. I had my pony that I had great plans for come up with front distal sesmiondean ligament tears. Spent almost a year rehabbing those, shock wave and PRP. Then we did an ultrasound on the right hind to find the high suspensory. That's where I drew the line and said Mother Nature can fix him. I have a wonderful friend in Ocala that allowed me to put him in her field. Rechecked 6 mo later (Jan 2013) and the front legs look almost perfect again and the right hind showed nothing on the ultrasound. But I PROMISED this pony a year of turn out and that's what he's going to get. So we'll see where I am June 2013 with him. After that I'll take another year to do the riding part to bring him back.

          So all that being said, I'm reading this thread with LOTS of interest. Anyone with good ideas of the riding part of the rehab, I'd love to hear it. The vet said I could start riding him in Jan. but like I said I promised the pony a year.



          • #25
            Originally posted by Cody View Post

            So all that being said, I'm reading this thread with LOTS of interest. Anyone with good ideas of the riding part of the rehab, I'd love to hear it. The vet said I could start riding him in Jan. but like I said I promised the pony a year.

            Walk...for a while. Mine who I also just turned out (after 1.5 years of treatment and rehab (including surgery))...looks sound in the field. Our plan for him is to get on and walk for at least 2 months. Start with 10-15min and build up the walking slowly. When we go to add trot...it will be no faster than a minute every 3 days.
            Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Mar. 6, 2013, 10:08 AM.
            ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


            • #26
              I am the OP for the other thread listed. My horse had the surgery on his LH - neurectomy and fasciotomy (actually he had two surgeries at the same time - also fetlock on same hind - annular ligament), long slow rehab, and knock on lots of wood, my guy is back to recognized eventing and I think at this point we are 2.5 or 3.5 years out (honestly I have lost track of time)? I went to surgery since it had far and away the best prognosis for return to long term soundness. We are even moving up this year. We will see what his long term soundness looks like - he turns 10 this year.


              • #27
                Yes, a suspensory issue can be detected/diagnosed “by hand”. As others have said an Ultrasound is the only way to ascertain the exact location and degree of damage. But I have found an Ultrasound is only as good as the person performing it and interpreting what the scan reveals. The “quality” of the scan is paramount. IMO it takes a very trained eye based on years of performing, reading scans and following horses they have worked with to give a creditable prognoses. The best only do Ultrasound day in day out and work with the attending Vet. But in the end it as with many horse injuries, prognoses and treatment is not an exact science. I have had ones that I was told will never be able to perform to their previous level that did and others that I was told were minor that turned out not to be so minor. Every horse seems to respond and heal differently.
                IME the biggest bang for the buck is a PRP (Platelet-Rich-Plasma) procedure around $1,000. Depending on the degree of injury 1-2 years of rehab.
                The majority of Ultrasound machines are digital so ask the vet to email and or get the scan on a CD and send to a well known sports injury clinic and see what they have to say.
                I have not found that spending a lot of money for expensive treatments like stem cell and therapies is not justified at this time. I have also found that the “jury is still out” as to the value of shockwave therapy for soft tissue injury in legs. But to each their own. I have been told that hyperbaric chamber treatments show a lot of promise and worthy of the cost.
                I as others have posted in far more detail on the subject in past threads. I would not be discouraged until enough time has past and what future ultrasounds show.
                Pessimistic horsemen is an oxymoron.


                • #28
                  Atlanta Equine Clinic has great rehab schedules. I'd go for the longest one.
                  Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                  Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.