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bone chip fragment in the stifle??

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  • bone chip fragment in the stifle??

    Anyone ever had this??? I thought she had an abcess, had the vet out, and no such luck. Vet said it looks old, because its round. It seems to have gotten loose from where ever its been and is now between the bones of the joint. Ouch. Poor girl. Anyone? Vet says I'm looking at microscopic orthopedic surgery. Arg.

  • #2
    Bad area for chips. If it was fetlock and wasn't bothering her, I'd say leave it - but knees, hocks, stifles... I'd definitely remove it if it is possible.


    • #3
      Yes, I have a gelding that has them. He was diagnosed almost 2 years ago; not extremely lame but just NQR...looked like back pain. X rays showed multiple ossified fragments, so they had been there a while, just never bothered him until then. Luckily there appears to be no other damage to the joint.

      Since I could not afford surgery, we started with injecting the joint. He was sound for a few months. I ended up giving him about a year off and right now he is sound again, but I really want to have the surgery done to get them out. The good news is that the surgeons here have told me the prognosis is excellent.

      Have you thought about having surgery for your horse?


      • #4
        The longer you wait, the worse the prognosis gets, as the chips wear away the cartilage in the joint. Once it's gone, it's gone. If you're interested in keeping her sound, I would remove it ASAP.


        • Original Poster

          Anybody know how much the surgery runs? The vet said about 2500. How close is she?

          I'll have to get the surgery, the cost is a big ouch and she's not insured. Arg.


          • #6
            I'd say it depends on where you are, pal-o-mino. Near any vet schools? In an area with a lot of equine surgical facilities or no?

            You can probably call around to whatever hospitals are nearby and ask for ballpark $$$ on a chip removal from the stifle.

            I don't think $2500 is crazy, though...


            • #7
              For one joint, I have gotten estimates of between $1500-$2500. You would be wise to x ray the other stifle to make sure there are no signs of OCD in there. It is much cheaper to get both done at the same time here if you have to.
              Good luck!


              • #8
                My old TB had this - discovered after he came off a trailer at a show NQR and it didn't improve over a few days' time.

                Took to vet, discovered old, rounded off chip. Couldn't even tell where exactly it came from. Postulated it was at least 5 years old and that he had probably raced with it (he was 13 or so at the time; raced til 9).

                NQR-ness was that he strained the stifle in the trailer and because of the chip, the inflammation couldn't clear like in a normal joint. He was injected and was perfect nearly immediately. I did ask about removing the chip and they said that it would most likely do more harm than good - so we passed. I was quoted in the neighborhood of $1500 for it should I choose to.

                He will be 21 this year and is still tooling around 3' and under.


                • #9
                  Out of curiousity, have you continued to inject him? Or was he just injected the one time?


                  • #10
                    He has been injected every 2 years ONLY because his hocks were done on that schedule. I ship 3 hours for injections and I asked the vet, who said he didn't need to have the stifle done, if it would be detrimental to inject anyway, and he said that every 2 years would definitely not harm the joint.

                    He did however get Adequan loading doses twice a year - but again, that was more for hocks.


                    • Original Poster

                      UC Davis is up north. I remember when I had her myopathy surgery done at UC (in Fort collins?) 450 bucks! I was expecting it to be way worse. I lived in that area at the time. I'll have to check around.