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Share Your Experiences with Check Ligament Injuries...

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  • Share Your Experiences with Check Ligament Injuries...

    So out hunting with the Green Creek a week ago my guy rolled a stone under his foot, had a near faceplant kind of stumble, caught his balance and continued, seeming okay. I did dial down our rate of speed, headed back to the trailers and called it a day.
    The next morning we had a big fat hot leg, for which I buted and decided tk cut our trip short. The swelling seemed to be on the outside of the leg and up high.
    Fast forward to post ultra sound, with a diagnosis of a check ligament tear, not too bad of one according to my vet.
    I am icing daily, poulticing and limited turn out as per my DVM. Just wondering about your experiences with this, I have no mileage with this kind of thing. We are planning on shockwaving it next week. Your input is appreciated, and hopefully your success stories...

  • #2
    I had a racehorse who had injured a check before I got him. He did it twice, once before and once while I had him.Once they tear, you have to always pay attention to that area. It was not a career ending injury for him, but did require care with shoeing and support bandaging. When he did re-injure it, lots of cold water hosing and poultice.
    Hopefully your higher tech treatment will give your horse a quicker turnaround too.
    ETA: He had several successful racing years after the injury and was retired sound. I jumped him lightly for a number of years without issue.


    • #3
      We had one quite a while ago. No high tech treatment. I can't remember how long the down time was or even how it was treated, but we gave her the down time and brought her back according to the vet's program. We did not have any problems with it. She went back to her previous 3 ft. hunter career. Honestly, with her conformation and some of the footing she was on after rehab, I am amazed she did not re-injure it.


      • #4
        I am a year this month from my horses check ligament tear in the hind left. He did it in his turnout, and for the first few weeks we thought it was a stubborn infection because there happened to be a little cut next to it. Kept him in the stall for 3 months, something I will never ever do again so good for you for getting your horse out on a limited amount. Stall rest came to an abrupt end when he had a major colic that I had to walk him for days for. Leg was fine through it all. Around month 4-5 (early from my vet's guess of a year) it was done with the heat and I began the slow process of bringing him back. don't rush this part as bored as you may get, put on some music or go through some dressage patterns or something to keep from getting bored.
        Anyway, he is totally fine now though there is still a small bump that seems to dissapear a little more each month. It doesn't bother him and we are back at full work. I do take a little more time to walk him for 5-10 minutes before I start work, and a good cooling walk after, just to be safe. I do not ride with any wraps on the leg now, I don't really believe in interfering with the leg unless it becomes necessary, which it has not.

        While he was stall resting we did cold hosing, ice boots, sore no more poultice, and wrapping overnight. Again, it's boring. If you have a freezer at the barn I'd recommend ice boots rather than sitting there with the hose in the middle of winter. bute when you can is good too, but my particular horse can't take any. We were fine without it.

        To tell you the truth, if I had to do it again, I think I would turn him out in a small turnout as long as he was being quiet (which he would have been if he got out everyday) and just ice when I could. I don't feel like anything I did in particular made it better, just prevented it from getting worse.

        I'm sorry you have to deal with it. It seems long, but it will heal, and I hear that as far as ligament tears go, check ligament is one of the better ones to have an injury with as they heal better. Hey hopefully it goes quick for you as well like it did for me, and you get back to riding just before next hunt season. Keep your fingers crossed. Good luck to you both!


        • Original Poster

          Thanks, so far he is walking sound and keeping his brain in his head during turnout. He actually thought he'd have a short trot yesterday to the fence when one of his former turnout buddies was going by so am ending the bute to keep him "aware" he is tender and hopefully quieter, it was more for the swelling which is looking quite under control at this point.
          The only upside to this is at the beginning of December with a vacation planned and then all the usual Xmas hullabaloo riding tends to be a bit lower on my to do list. The downside is my TB, who is usually turned out with him, is just standing around, giving me the full benefit of his energy.


          • #6
            My mare tore her check and it took forever and a day to heal but it did ultimately heal and vet approved her to go back to her former level of work (prelim eventing) with instructions to be careful about footing. She stayed sound in flatwork and low jumping- she probably would have been fine jumping higher but she ended up in a dressage home.
            Her tear did not heal with just stall rest and time (and possibly shockwave- don't remember if I tried that) for no reason that any vet could give. I did this PRP/bone marrow combo treatment and injection and it started to heal almost immediately and the fibers ended up lining up quite nicely. All in all, she was out of work for about a year but the first 5 (6?) months of that was before we tried the PRP/bone marrow injections. She was on stall rest for a couple of months but she was very good about it.
            There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


            • Original Poster

              Bambam- would you be willing to share what those treatments cost? Shockwave isn't cheap and since this is my hearthorse I don't mind doing more extensive measures to get him fixed, even if its jumping 2'6 and being an old lady hack horse. You could PM me if you'd like.


              • #8
                Originally posted by littlecreek View Post
                So out hunting with the Green Creek a week ago my guy rolled a stone under his foot, had a near faceplant kind of stumble, caught his balance and continued, seeming okay. I did dial down our rate of speed, headed back to the trailers and called it a day.
                The next morning we had a big fat hot leg, for which I buted and decided tk cut our trip short. The swelling seemed to be on the outside of the leg and up high.
                Fast forward to post ultra sound, with a diagnosis of a check ligament tear, not too bad of one according to my vet.
                I am icing daily, poulticing and limited turn out as per my DVM. Just wondering about your experiences with this, I have no mileage with this kind of thing. We are planning on shockwaving it next week. Your input is appreciated, and hopefully your success stories...
                We did PRP(platelet rich plasma) injected into the area that was torn-30 days stall rest-used Animal Dynamics T&L liniment, and wrapped his legs with Back On Track Bandages, I also gave him Platinum Pwrformance Osteon...then turned him out in the field for the winter...and by spring he was completely 100% healed and has been fine ever since...he's also 23yrs old!!


                • #9
                  I don't remember what the PRP/bone marrow thing cost. All I remember is that it was a lot cheaper than stem cell and more expensive than plain old PRP. It may not matter because it is a hybrid thing that may not be offered anywhere but Virginia Equine Imaging. I had never heard of it before talking to them. At that point, the ligament was not healing on its own after 6ish months and I probably would not have done that treatment if that had not been the case (although I might have done straight PRP). PRP (or IRAP for that matter) cannot be done (or should not be done) unless there is a clear "hole" for them to inject into so whether you can do that depends on the nature of the tear.
                  I just finished shock wave on another horse with a suspensory and I think the shock wave treatments were in the neighborhood of $150-200 a pop (series of 3 is the normal/recommended practice). I live in an uber-expensive part of the country and, even here, my vet is in the higher (although by no means the highest) side.
                  There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


                  • #10
                    Just an extra note, my horse did have a pretty good tear (ultrasound to confirm), however, not one single day was he ever lame on it, even when it was at it's worst. In fact, sadly I rode him for two weeks following it because there was a cut next to where the swelling was, and we assumed that it got infected. 2 weeks of antibiotics and walking gave us no results, so we ultrasounded and I felt like a horrible horse mom for a few months. In the end, that little bit did not effect it. He's totally back to work/shows now.

                    Curious to those answering this thread, were your horses sound or lame with the check tear?


                    • #11
                      I just did PRP and the injection was about $300 not included "call fee." I live in a cheap area (relatively speaking).

                      I'm intrigued that some people are ice boots and others are back on track (heat). Ice vs. Heat? Any one want to comment?


                      • #12
                        Soo..here is what I was instructed to do by the vet. Ice to remove the heat ( which takes weeks/months - even longer without bute or other NSAIDS) - when the heat is fully out of the leg, stop icing and begin sweating to add heat. The sweat was supposed to happen in on and off periods, and supposedly I would have seen the swelling in the leg come and go at this point, and the leg would eventually look normal (no bump).

                        This seemed odd to me, and I was willing to try this, but my horse got sick right as the heat was pretty much out and the string of colic's threw a wrench in the whole recovery plan for the ligament. So, never did the heat, just the cold and though there is still a bit of a noticeable bump, all is well. I do notice the bump goes down a little more each month still, hoping that it will eventually not be noticeable at all.

                        Also, I think i am the only one who notices it. You would have to really be looking for it to be able to tell there was ever a problem on that leg via visual inspection.

                        I'm curious as well to hear the other answers to that question.


                        • #13
                          My boy has had trauma to his CL, the gate he ran through however was finished. He was on stall rest for about a month and been on 24/7 turnout for 2 months so far. He was lame the day we found it, sound two weeks after and heat gone within 2-3 weeks. We started him back under tack this month, first hand walking, then adding light weight and now he just hit normal weight (me riding him) and the swelling has gone down the entire time. There is still some left but very little. When he first had his injury we used Ice Vibe boots (FANTASTIC boots) and cold hosed; both twice a day. We also furicined the leg during the day. Once the outside temp got cold we started to use his BoT quick wraps (heat) and DMSO gel which made it drastically better. For us, it depends on what his leg is doing with how we treat it. If the weather will be hot we keep it cool and when the weather is cold we sweat it.

                          He has been doing great and its so nice to be back on him, even if its only around 7 minutes of walking.
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