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enable/discourage me...rehabbing a sesamoid fracture? **UPDATE, X-RAYS!**

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  • enable/discourage me...rehabbing a sesamoid fracture? **UPDATE, X-RAYS!**

    I was offered a gorgeous, quiet, sweet 4 year old TB gelding at the track this weekend. He is super well bred and looks like a show horse even though he raced a few weeks ago. The owners are good people who want to find their boy a good home....problem is, 2 weeks ago, after running a race (he came in 4th) he came up lame. As you can tell from the title, further examination found a fractured (non-displaced- ie: no chips) inoperable sesamoid fracture. Track vet's prognosis is 3 months stall rest minimum then he *should* be sound for anything other than racing.
    I really like the horse, but in this economy, would rather not take anything else that's going to be a pasture potato. I'm supporting a few of those already and hubby is starting to get grumpy about the number of purely "lawn ornaments" we have....anything with resale potential, he's good with
    IF he came home with me, I'd give him until spring to heal. Stall rest through the summer/fall and then turnout through winter, then start riding in spring. I have (more than) enough to ride, so I'm in no rush. Frankly, I was NOT in the market for a horse, but this one called to me. I just went over to visit him and pet him because of his gorgeous face, and the fact that he was OBVIOUSLY begging for some scritches, not knowing his story, and the trainer approached ME. One of those things, I guess.
    I've got a call in to the vet and am trying to get ahold of the x-rays, which if possible, i will post here.Anywho, thoughts? I'm perfectly ok with brutally honest "don't do it!" stories. I'm also ok with enabling. Just be honest!
    Last edited by pinkpony321; Jun. 13, 2012, 12:18 PM.
  • Original Poster


    Hopefully this link works with the x-rays. please give me thoughts!


    • #3
      Did they ultrasound to look at the suspensory? Without suspensory damage, the prognosis to return to a hard athletic career is good. It would be better if this were a hind injury, but the forelimb still has a good chance of a good outcome. The fact that this is "inoperable" is a good thing, because you have a good prognosis and surgery won't improve it. It's not inoperable because there is nothing they can do, but because there is nothing to do. Therefore, inoperable is not quite the right word.

      If I had to put a number on it, probably 99.9% chance of being a trail horse and going down to a 70% chance of holding up at four star eventing (65-75% are the reported rates of return to a RACING career post forelimb sesmoid fractures as reported in studies of several years in length).


      • Original Poster

        Hi- thanks for the thoughts. They have not ultrasounded the suspensory, however, the horse is sound at the walk currently, if that means anything.

        I forgot to mention in my original post that the horse would hopefully end up becoming a 3' show hunter...luckily i'm not interested in the scary four star jumps!!

        Another question for anyone who would know: when this heals, will it still be visible on x-rays? or will this be something that will "reabsorb" or just kind of fix itself (hopefully).


        • #5
          I would ultrasound the suspensory. If clean, I would take the horse. For resale value/pre purchase xrays done down the road, no they shouldn't see anything. It's not an area the vet will closely exam on a sound show horse. There will be nothing that jumps out or will indicate a degenerative problem, so I wouldn't worry about that. I would worry about a suspensory and long term soundness and ability to pass a ppe down the road. A poorly healed suspensory will show on a later ultrasound.


          • Original Poster

            *bump* anyone else? Any experience or stories? I'm still on the fence here...


            • #7
              I'd also want to image the soft tissue in the leg. Ultrasound and see what you've got there.


              • #8
                I would get a second opinion of the radiograohs in regards to future soundness prognosis and level of possible work. The fracture is small but as you can see in the second to last radiograph it appears displaced, and seems to be is at the location of a small sesamoidian ligament. That would bother me in regards to considering jumping or any hard work where the fetlock would have to flex a lot and pull on that ligament .

                Ps I am not a vet but I play one on TV .....
                Last edited by Patty Stiller; Jun. 15, 2012, 09:41 AM.
                Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
                Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.


                • #9
                  I had a horse who fractured his sesamoid on the left front. No damage was done to the suspensory, and he did not have surgery. I ended up selling him when I was in school and he went on to be become a hunter and is still sound.


                  • #10
                    JINGLES & AO ~ ALWAYS OPTIMISTIC ~

                    Jingles & AO for your horse and you during this rehab struggle ~
                    Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                    • #11
                      I would also ultrasound for ligament damage. I would also note that, as a person who has actually had to deal with a four year old OTTB on stall rest for 6 months, you better REALLY like the horse if you are going to do it. I love my horse to pieces, but OMG, a stall-rested four year old was NOT fun. I'd be much more inclined to take this horse if my vet thought he could do tiny paddock (like, roundpen size or smaller maybe) turnout instead of strict stall rest.

                      Also, I noticed that the x-rays state the gender of the horse as "M," which I always thought indicated "mare." We are sure these are the right x-rays, correct?


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pinkpony321 View Post

                        Hopefully this link works with the x-rays. please give me thoughts!
                        The vet that took the rads has been my vet for over a decade. He is also a surgeon. Did you talk to him? If not, I can get you his phone number. I would trust his opinion completely. I agree with an ultrasound however.
                        McDowell Racing Stables

                        Home Away From Home


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks for all of the replies. To answer a few questions:
                          1.) I think i will get an ultrasound
                          2.) I really DO like the horse, and have the perfect rehab set up. He's a peach!
                          3.) laurierace, I have spoken with this vet. He was awesome, and gave the horse a really good prognosis. He also commented on the quality of the horse and his excellent temperament, and I quote, "this is a super horse who is definitely worth taking a chance on!" he also offered to speak with me more and throUghout the rehab process, which I thought was nice.

                          I guess I will try to schedule an ultrasound next week. Something about this horse is telling me to go for it!


                          • #14
                            He is not one to sugarcoat or tell someone what they want to hear, so if he thinks he will be ok, he most likely will. That said, stall rest is a bear and hand walking following stall rest is even worse. Make sure you are up to the task for both your sakes before you agree to go forward.
                            McDowell Racing Stables

                            Home Away From Home