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Xrayed leg and found a new problem- Fractured split

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  • Xrayed leg and found a new problem- Fractured split


    My horse had a case of Cellulitis two weeks ago-in total, it lasted 5 days, but the entire time I had her working on a lunge line and eventually under saddle to keep her moving to help push out the cellulitis. She has been totally sound since day one of this. She has been worked hard u/s for a week now and after celluitis subsided, she had a hard but moveable spot, but not a lump, at the top of her lower leg. Vet looked at it, said I felt like a patch of edema but wanted to have it X-rayed just to be sure.

    X-ray showed up clean, the spot is nothing. However, at the very bottom of the x-ray, the tip of the splint bone (looks like a tear drop) was fractured off. It was just kind of hanging there. I have no clue how new or old this was. My horse has never been lame, ever, KNOCK ON WOOD, since I have owned her even through the cellulitis. There is no lump, bump, swelling, etc. and aside from the cellulitis, never has even been swollen or stocky. She is not sensative to pushing on the leg.

    The vet was going to have the others in his practice take a look at it. He did not think it warrented immediate concern but I am trying to not panic. I have not jumped her in three weeks due to cellulitis ( I wanted to take it slow) and until I knew what that hard spot was. This is a horse that is shown competatively and frequently at the 3ft level at rated shows, she's quite fit.

    Does anyone know anything about treatment of a fracture of that location or have experience with this area? I understand splint issues when they occur mid-bone, but this literally looks like you snipped off the tip of the bone. My vets are fantastic, I will of course follow what they tell me but I had a sleepless night and wanted to seek others experiences.

  • #2
    Had one removed by Dr Omar Maher in NH at NE Equine surg. Came out fine. Need a little rest after the surgery. Cost about $3K . The race tracks do it all the time, for a lot less, I bet.


    • #3
      I knew a horse that broke a hind splint bone in two places. Top break healed nicely, the bottom one didn't. The practice's senior vet recommended leaving it alone. He said he knew of a number of horses running around the area with broken splint bones. Their bodies stabilized it with surrounding tissue and as long as it wasn't close to rubbing on the tendons and ligaments there was no reason to worry.

      But it would have been a fairly minor surgery to remove it had it not been far enough from the tendons and ligaments.


      • #4
        My baby horse did the same thing... Cracked the tiny little bit of the end of the bone off. He was never lame on it and I wouldn't have even known but a few weeks after the initial trauma, a soft swelling showed up. Still sound, but it wouldn't go away. Drained it and it was a sequestrum (infected piece of bone because of lack of blood supply). We were planning to ignore it and leave it be but when it became infected, we had to take it out. He did great and has stayed sound.


        • #5
          Distal? Clean break, displaced? Remove it.


          • #6
            I'd get it taken out, a friend's dressage horse had his broken, got displaced and it caused some damage to his suspensory as a result.


            • #7
              This happened to a good friend's filly. It had to be removed because the broken piece was irritating a tendon. Otherwise the vet would have left it alone.
              "The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp