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Soft tissue stifle injury.. injections?

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  • Soft tissue stifle injury.. injections?

    My mare has been recovering from a hind suspensory injury that happened last spring and came up lame again in January. After many vet visits we blocked her stifle and she was 100% sound. My vet is thinking it's a soft tissue issue due to compensating for the suspensory. Now I should not be allowed to see the vet on my own because I don't ask enough questions or get enough information. But here's what I gather: last week he injected the problem stifle (I'm thinking steriods/HA). I do not know if he injected directly into the joint or just around it. He told me to wait a week and get on my horse and let him know how she is.

    I've talked to a few people at my barn and I don't think I should be expecting a sound horse on wednesday when I ride her. Someone said that you can inject the joint and some of the fluid will end up in the area surrounding the joint where the soft tissue damage might be. I don't really understand how injecting the area will help if it isn't a joint problem. And if it is soft tissue, then shouldn't we ultrasound it and shouldn't my horse be on stall rest of at least in a confined space with just hand walking to allow the tissue to heal? I've been so engrossed in suspensory issues over the past few years that I have very minimal knowledge on stifles. Any thoughts would be great!

  • #2
    I have an excellent article on stifle issues that I'd be happy to email you, if you'd like to PM me your email address.

    Brief summary: Ultrasound is very useful for evaluating what exactly is wrong with the soft tissue in the stifle. Steroids can certainly reduce the inflammation in the soft tissue that supports the stifle and produce pain relief. Unfortunately, it also delays the healing of the soft tissue (as does HA, which I found surprising.) For stifle injections, IRAP is a better choice.


    • #3
      Cold laser is a fantastic modality for stifle issues, has amazing deinflamatory effects


      • #4
        I would call him and ask what exactly he means. If you didn't do rads or ultrasound its hard to pinpoint what exactly is the problem. He may not have felt you wanted those things and just wanted to try injecting the region. Also if it was synovitis or capsulitis injection into the joint will help take down inflammation. Also they sometimes may need the decrease in inflammation to get them over the pain/inflammation hump and get going again


        • Original Poster

          ERC, I'll look into cold therapy, thanks for the suggestion. And my mare is looking better. We're giving her a week of light work to see how she goes, fingers crossed.


          • #6
            I don't really understand how injecting the area will help if it isn't a joint problem.
            Most steroids used in this manner will reduce inflammation (tissue as well as joint) - question is whether it will be subject to relapse inflammation as the steroid dissipates or not ...