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coming back from meniscal tear....

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  • coming back from meniscal tear....

    My five year old just had arthroscopic surgery and he had a full thickness medial meniscal tear and the meniscus itself has become displaced, but appears to be fibrosing nicely into its new position. They were able to debride the tear and the articular cartilage is fine and no arthritis is present. I am going to do stem cell and we are embarking on 4-6 months of stall rest and a very regimented hand walking/ rehab schedule. They are telling me 50-60% chance for return to full athletic ability. Prior to the surgery he was 100 % sound for about 4 weeks following a joint injection of steroid and polyglycan, but of course became unsound again...

    Prior to injury was schooling 1st and jumping 2'9 . My hopes were for eventing novice/training and dressage to second....

    Just looking for people's similar experiences and outcomes....

  • #2
    We have an older horse who tore his meniscus (never required surgery), who has had it rough returning to any type of work. Pre-injury, he had gone intermediate and had moved on to a career in the jumpers in the 4-4'6" range. He injured himself in the field. He took almost an entire year to come back, we weren't sure he'd jump at the same level, but we never got a chance to find out! He injured himself (broke his tuber ischi) in the field AGAIN almost exactly a year after the first injury. Another year long recovery, and he started back to full flat work ok, but then that bum stifle started to give him grief. We decided to retire him, as he was going to require way, way too much maintenance to even hope to remain marginally sound for either foxhunting or lower level jumpers or eventing.

    Fast forward 18 months. He had been living in the lap of retirement luxury, but his caretaker couldn't keep him for us anymore, so we brought him home. Every time he'd "horse" around in the field, he looked great, so after so debate and discussions with his vet, we have turned him over to our teenager ask a project. She's been slowly legging him up for the last month (he's up to 5 minutes of trotting), and so far, so good. The loooooong turn out may have been just the right medicine for him to come back to work (sometimes "Dr. Green" is what it takes), but we're still a ways off before we'll really know the outcome. Fingers crossed, but hopefully he'll be running around some BNs in the spring/summer.

    Good luck. Take it slow and one day at a time. He's still young, so he may come back very well. Our guy was 11 or 12 when he first did himself in (we joke that he has a faulty self-distruct button), and had a good amount of mileage and wear and tear. The second, unrelated injury probably didn't help.


    • #3
      I just had personal surgery for that this past autumn. I would think people and horses were somewhat the same. All about PT and strengthening ALL the muscles in the thigh and calf area. I still feel some scar tissue every now and then, so far so good. As far as people, the chances for arthritis post surgery are fairly good so going on an agressive campaign to battle that. You might want to do the same. Depending on how much of the meniscus they had to cut away.


      • #4
        wish you the best on this. We thought my guy had just torn his meniscus diagnosied via ultrasound but when they went in to clean it up, the vet found the collateral ligament damage as well. Told me to put him down but I decided to give him a shot at some sort of life. After three years, he still has a pretty good hitch at the trot but is sound at the walk. Does not really matter since he is turned out 24/7 in a pasture with a very old pony. Stifle injuries are the worst to deal with in general. Good luck.


        • #5
          I have just done this to myself (a week ago). Thought I had done another ACL, but physio - (no English-speaking doctor in this skiing village, so the physio's the best bet) reckoned not. VERY painful at first, but a few days rest, physio exercises, neurofen and voltarin, and I am back skiing. Badly, as per usual. Clearly, however, I am not a horse, and have no aspirations to jump anything larger than a queue.
          Good luck with your horse's rehab.


          • #6
            I have a show hunter who at the age of 3 got cast in his stall and tore his MCL and his meniscus. He is 7 now and showing 2'3 and will move up to 2'6 next yr. We are taking it slow. He gets stifle injected once a year and is on Legend once per month and esterone if we are out of work for longer than a week.

            It can be done. (knock on wood so that the soundness gods don't shoot me down)


            • #7
              My sister's prelim horse did the meniscus and the collateral ligament two years in march. A year of stall rest, injections (which brought him sound for 6 weeks at a time) and a look into arthroscopic surgery, which it was determined there was nothing to be done, and he would never be rideable.

              Fast forward a year of full turnout, and my vet checking him out has he trotted by one day, and we went, "hey, he's looking really good!" Just the tiniest hitch, if you were looking for it, at some steps. We said "why not?" maybe he can be a trail horse.

              Tonight, we rode him for the first time in 2 years, and he was sound. We'll see if he can holdup to light work, but it was very encouraging.


              • #8
                Sancudo -I'm hoping your scenario will play out for us.
                My "re-sale" horse, an 8 year old TB gelding had a meniscal tear in July 08 when he was 6. After 3 months of stall rest he was sound & the ultrasound looked good. Within a few weeks of being turned out in a small paddock he became lame again, another ultrasound...this time it appeared to be the medial-collateral ligament. We injected & put him on stall rest again. After another three months, & still unsound, I said "the heck with it" and turned him out. All told...he's been unsound for 18 months. Some days he looks about 90% sound, then others he's obviously off. Luckily for me (and him) he's not my only horse and I can keep him as a pet the rest of his life, but it's a huge bummer.
                "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville