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Sesamoid ligament tear

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  • Sesamoid ligament tear

    So my wonderful horse has apparently re-injured an old racetrack injury. Scar tissue was visible on the ultrasound. Does anyone have an experience with this type of injury? It is his right front. Currently he is being stalled with hand grazing for half an hour for the next 6-8 weeks when I will take him back to be evaluated. He has had one shockwave treatment and if he has improved when I take him back I will do another.

    Any experience with bringing them back? He was currently at Training level and we were qualified and had aimed for the T3D this year. The hope was to move up to Prelim by the end of the year. That is out. I would just like to hear what other people have experienced. There is not a lot of literature out there on sesamoid ligament issues.

    Thanks for whatever you wonderful guys can come up with.

  • #2
    Hey There! My old jumper had this injury and did fully recover and remains sound and active at 27! This happened when she was 11 and she has elongated sesmoid bones from racing as a youngster. Amazingly had 27 starts and then a very long career in the jumpers winning many championships and was New England Open Jumper Champion as well.

    I have had the ankle joint injected about four times since then as this seemed to help the inflamation. I kept her wrapped and on stall rest for three months and slowly brought her back over 9 months. She was competing the following year, off of all drugs and loving her job!

    Thankfully, ligaments have memory and recover. Take it VERY slow and PM for more info. if you need it!

    There is hope, I promise!

    Heidi Lord
    Heidi A. Lord
    Fast First Farm Richlands, NC
    Facebook: fastfirstfarm


    • #3
      Yes, horse had desmitis in sesamoid ligaments in both hinds (obliques?), possibly scarring brewing since racetrack days, no acute injuries ever noted. 3 shockwave sessions on both hinds, rehabbing, injected tendon sheath at one point, I think. Been a bit over a year since diagnosis, horse going well back in full work, no jumping yet though, for various reasons.

      Vet has said that these particular ligaments have very good odds to heal as close to 100% as possible. Good luck!
      Fear is the rocket sauce.
      Jack Black


      • #4
        I'm so sorry you are having to put your T3D and Prelim plans on hold!

        I highly recommend BACK TO WORK by Lucinda Dyer.
        She has several case studies of rehabbing ligament tears (and tendon injuries), and some sample rehab schedules.
        Taco Blog
        *T3DE 2010 Pact*


        • Original Poster

          Thanks for the hope!

          Thank you all for your hopeful stories. I will get that book! I think my trainer has it but I it would be good to have my own copy for reference in the next several months. Heidi, was your mare a front leg injury? What I have read is that hind leg sesamoid tears have a better recovery rate than front so if your mare injured her front and is doing fantastic - that is what I want to hear! I will PM you.

          I love this horse. I have never felt so confident or trusted any horse as much as this one in my life until this one. He LOVES x-country. Everyone who has watched him go says he is like a fish in water. He went from BN to winning Training in one year because he didn't look at a thing. He is a natural but he did come with issues. Apparently his sesamoid ligament being one of them. I will do whatever I can to bring him back and if he doesn't compete again but I can school him that would be fine too.

          He is being REALLY good about being stalled. I get him out for 30 minutes a day for hand grazing. We are only on week 2 and I have him on Valerian but he has always had a mellow temperament. Anyway, I could gush more over him. Again, thanks for the input.



          • #6
            Yup. me too.

            Mine is back to showing. Took me 2.5 years though. I went very very slow. In fact I brought in a nice young horse to work with for a year so that I would not badger and pressure my horse to return to work too soon.

            Pretty much his injury shattered and restructured my life. It has taken me 2.5 years to recover emotionally.

            If you are interested in the tid bits of recovery and treatment PM me.

            He's sounder than all get-out now. : )
            Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


            • #7
              Interestily I was just returning to the forum because my horse who had finally trotted sound in Nov has just come up lame again! we had started back under saddle when he trotted sound. I walked only on hard ground for several weeks, progressed to walking in the arena, out on trails untill end of feb. then we began trot work, progressing up in time...a few weeks ago we began very short 4-5 strides of canter on the long side of the arena. then one day he seemed a bit off. as he had been shod the day before i thought it was either that he had been shod a bit short or had been quicked. I gave it a few days and he remained sore. My trainer said "yep, looks like left front again" but as she watched me trot him in hand, she felt he seemed better the more he trotted. The farrier came back and watched me trot him out, yep left front, again seemed better the more he moved. So we thought maybe a sore muscle as he had no tenderness in the hoof. we thought a good warm up might work him through it. So i got on to ride and he seemed fine, seemed fine under saddle the next day. I was away for 10 days and when I returned he seemed fine and so I trail rode him several times without any problems. Then on july 5th I worked him in the arena. no head bobbing or unevenness , but he did seem a bit resistant. Due to the heat I did not ride again until last weekend. I rode him in the morning, as long as I had him balanced he was ok, but if I let him go on the forehand on a loose rein he seemed uneven. later that day I asked my trainer to watch him go and this time he was head bobbing lame. I was crushed, so we are on the way to Marion Dupont Equine center tomorrow to see what they have to say. i have a very bad feeling he has retorn the ligament. he is only 12.


              • #8
                "Back to Work" is a wonderful resource!!


                • #9
                  We just went through this with one of my young horses. The herd was running around being stupid and he slipped and tore his sesamoid ligament in his right hind. 30 days of stall rest healed the ligament about 95% (it was a pretty mild tear), but while on stall rest, he somehow tore the collateral ligament across his hock! So 30 more days of stall rest and 30 days on a paddock. He just now gets to be back out ion the pasture for another 30 days, then we can start light work.

                  So the Ses lig healed quickly and well; now we're having to come back from the hock lig tear!
                  Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck; some nights I call it a draw. -- fun.

                  My favorite podcasts: Overdue, The Black Tapes, Tanis, Rabbits, How Did This Get Made?, Up and Vanished.


                  • #10
                    always plan on doubling the amount of time the vet suggests.

                    Waiting X more months is worth it to have a sound horse for the rest of his/her life.

                    My horse was mild but extreme. If that makes sense...? I get the idea that the vets really didn't expect me to be jumping him again, none the less showing.

                    I was overly patient. The prognosis was 6-8 months and I gave him two years. Two years and 6 months before putting him back into show quality work.

                    It is worth the extra time in the end.

                    He injured himself May 2008. I started toying around on him in January 2010 but pretty much I just left him out 24/7 from January to May.

                    Here he is two days ago. I've been jumping for two months.
                    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                    • Original Poster

                      Recheck this Thursday

                      Well, we go back to the vet for a recheck this Thursday. It has been 6 weeks since the initial diagnosis so we will see. I can't believe it has already been 6 weeks. Time has flown mainly because I do have another horse to ride and keep me from being obsessed over Finn.

                      He has been handling stall rest really well. He has had one major blow up where he got loose and it didn't seem to do any harm but we will find out on Thursday. I plan to have him shockwaved again and if it is significantly better put him in either a larger stall or a stall with a SMALL turnout. I will see what the vet says and follow his plan. My trainer did lend me that book again so I have that to follow as a reference as well.

                      I do plan on taking it slow. I have another horse to ride and I really want Finn to come back 100%. Purp - your horse looks lovely, relaxed and sound! Good job.