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Ruptured peroneous tertius ligament

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  • Ruptured peroneous tertius ligament

    I have owned my beautiful 7 year old TB gelding since April this year. He is my 'forever' horse and in the short time I have owned him we have gelled well and had great fun along the way really progressing well. Three weeks ago while lunging in the indoor arena he slipped while transitioning to canter, his back leg went behind him and he twisted over onto it (front end stayed upright) it happened in the blink of an eye. He pulled himself straight up but was limping on the leg. I thought he had strained or maybe pulled a muscle never for one minute did I think it would be anything serious. He was letting me lift the leg, have a good feel around etc without any objection. I gave him bute over the weekend and left him in. I called the vet in on Monday to give him a quick look over and he delivered the devastating news that he had snapped his peroneous tertius ligament and his riding career and ability to move like a normal horse was over. The following 24 hours after receiving this news was horrendous as I went through the whole range of emotions and coming to terms with having to find him a loving companion home.

    The following day fate intervened, I received a phone call from my yard owner. Her vet was on the yard seeing to one of the school ponies and she casually remarked that it had been a bad week and what had happened to my boy. As soon as she said that the leg could be extended straight behind he knew exactly which ligament it was. He said he had known horses come back from this injury including a racehorse go back to a full racing career and an event horse go back to Novice level eventing. Suffice to say I didn't need asking twice if I would like him to take a look. The diagnosis was correct as was the info that no vetinery or surgical intervention could 'fix' the ligament it was totally defunct. In over 20 years of practice he had only come across 10 other horses with this injury it is so rare and spectacular. If its to happen then TB's, competition and racehorses are the most likely to suffer. He was extremely good, explained how it worked and what the horse uses it for and also went on to explain they can function well without the use of it! He didn't give me false hope but as he is young and fit he was loath to write him off. Basically it comes down to box rest, physio and how well he adapts to using the leg himself. The vet also rang a specialist to confirm the way forward.

    He is having physio once a week so 2 sessions down and the vet was back last Wed Ti reassess him. He said he can feel a slight resistance in the leg when he lifts it now which is good. I expect to know within 3 months how it's looking. All being well I should be back riding him in 6 months and (fingers crossed) back to competing in 10 to 12. If he can't jump again then the range of movement in the leg should mean he can at least be a good hacking horse. The physio was pleased with him even after the 2nd visit, no swelling or lumps or bumps in the leg at all! He is bareing weight on the leg and he can get himself up and down fairly easily which is alI good. I am extremely positive that he is going to come through this well and that's how I am treating this whole thing until I find out otherwise. I owe him this chance. I am doing what I can in between visits, massaging the leg, stretching exercises to help keep him supple, trying to stop him getting bored silly! It will take as long as it takes to repair and I'm in it for the long haul.

    He has a great attitude, and is coping with his confinement fairly well if you ignore him breaking his stable door and making two bids for freedom!! Lol.

    Anyway apologies for the rambling essay, I have changed vets by the way and emailed the old one to say if anyone in the practice comes across this again then it's not a black or white prognosis. His advice of just let him get on with it was the worst possible as rest is the most important part of the recovery at the start. Funnily enough I haven't had a reply!

    As I said I have googled and read just about everything I can find so i would love to hear any information/stories anyone can share.

  • #2
    I have a horse who sprained his peronius tertious ligament.

    However, I believe there is a poster here who's horse severed it, and returned to full work. Maybe she'll chime in?

    Anyhoo- my horse's situation wasn't nearly as severe as your horse, but he did it much the same way, the surgeon (I sent him off for a CT scan) thought he probably just caught a toe in turn out. And, my horse has fully recovered, but his injury was mild, just some inflammation, no tares or anything.

    Jingles for your horse's full recovery!
    Unrepentant carb eater


    • #3
      No personal experience, but have seen numerous cases cited in the veterinary literature of full recovery.
      "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

      ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


      • Original Poster

        Thank you I've posted in a couple of places and been receiving some very positive feedback. I am going to post progress as we go along as its really heartening to read how other people coped and what the outcome for their own horse was. Really appreciate your reply ) hopefully this time next year I will be able to post what activity we have been taking part in!!


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
          No personal experience, but have seen numerous cases cited in the veterinary literature of full recovery.
          Thanks I've come across a couple and they seem quite favourable. I think as there is obviously no guarentee they will come good and the vet will always be quite guarded especially so early on you just look for the positives to keep you upbeat. )


          • #6
            Originally posted by Judysmom View Post
            However, I believe there is a poster here who's horse severed it, and returned to full work. Maybe she'll chime in?

            I think there have been another couple as well.

            I've chimed in on her thread on another board, so I won't repeat it here
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


            • #7
              I had one....he recovered fully and is still going!
              "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"


              • #8
                My friend had a mare with that. Long period of stall rest - months, I think. Mare is now in the pasture legging herself up. Mare was sound on last vet check, but will stay on pasture rest for the balance of the year since the injury.
                Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks for replies, I have had a couple of PMs from people whose horses have come through this. Been extremely positive, one is now playing horseball of all things!! Two have been sold on and both passed a 5* vetting without issue. All the info helps keep the positivity levels up )


                  • #10
                    We had one in our barn who had a huge gap where the severed ends pulled apart. Long period of stall rest, maybe 8 months? She was eventing like nothing ever happened six months after the stall rest ended and is still going strong several years later.
                    McDowell Racing Stables

                    Home Away From Home


                    • #11
                      i know a woman whose gelding suffered that injury. she was told by the vets that he would have to be on stall rest for a year. she kept him in for a few days and then let him back out on a regular turnout schedule. he was back sound under saddle within a few months. it was remarkable!
                      TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


                      • #12
                        One of our coming three year old fillies did this last December to her left rear leg. Likely a "slip and fall" in a rain-slick, winter pasture.

                        We had her evaluated and embarked on program where the major component was Tincture of Time (THE most difficult of all medications to administer ). She has completely recovered and just went under saddle.

                        So, follow the vet's advice and give it time to heal fully. The do a good rehab and you should be fine.

                        Good luck to you.


                        P.S. I'm thinking of re-naming this filly "Death Wish" as within two weeks of completing rehab for peronius tertius injury she managed to sprain the right hock cavorting in the pasture with her mates. She recovered nicely from that. So far she's not suffered any more "self inflicted wounds."
                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                        • #13
                          Yep, I don't understand the "stall 'em for months" protocol, unless there is a hock fracture involved.
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                          • #14
                            I've noticed my vets are totally getting away from the whole "stall rest" thing now--even for something like a suspensory. Horses are wired for movement, which is better for circulation needed for healing. Turnout (as long as they'll behave!) also spared you what we now recognize as ulcers, etc. from 24/7 in a stall.


                            • Original Poster

                              I am lucky in the fact he's kept in a pretty big stable which is a bonus and the physio advised tying haynets around to encourage him to move about. He's quite active anyway so thankfully this hasn't been too much of a problem I have a feeling the vet will be happy to have him on some sort of turnout as soon as he sees fit as he is coming every two weeks to monitor him. I don't think he will be confined any longer than he needs to be He will only be kept in a small flat paddock when he does goes out tho. I have an equilibrium massage mitt which I use on him every day. Not sure what good it will do but it can't harm and he certainly likes it )


                              • #16
                                My guy ruptured 3 years ago. I used laser treatments twice a day for 6 months, trained him to lift his leg in response to a clicker, and lots of hand walking. He is now 17 years old and still hunts first field and can easily jump 4'. There is a little hitch in his stride that has ended his dressage career, but he is much happier as a foxhunter anyway!
                                \"Go anywhere in England where there are natural, wholesome, contented, and really nice English people; and what do you always find? That the stables are the real center of the household.\" - George Brenard Shaw


                                • #17

                                  The following quote, contained in the article, is IMO, one of the most important ones:
                                  Ultrasonographic evaluation of the healing of
                                  the tendon may prevent premature return to
                                  exercise. Careful monitoring of the healing process
                                  with ultrasound is indicated to prevent reinjury.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Vet visit today was very positive notable inprovement in the 2 weeks since he last saw him. He is pivoting on the leg when he turns so he is confident to place weight and use the leg. He is still confined to barracks, vet back again on the 3rd September. Happy to take any improvement no matter how small


                                    • #19
                                      Yeah for you and your boy!! Continued jingles for his recovery!


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Well good news from the vet yesterday, phase one box rest completed!! *He was amazed at how well he has done in such a short space of time. The weekly physio, the daily (boring) dedication to doing his stretches and massage, Flynn's own personality and my unshakeable belief that he will come good have all got us to this point. His hip movement is totally level, and he is carrying and using the leg correctly and with confidence
                                        So today he is allowed out on restricted turnout (under mild sedation for 3 days I might add) and hope he doesn't go mental and undo all the good work. 2 hours a day this week then half a day next. Yeehaa......so glad he can start getting out for a while. He's been so good but after walking him out for the vet yesterday the mini rear and excited buck proved as far as he is concerned he's fighting fit and ready to go!!!! Really chuffed *