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Kissing Spine Surgery Cost and results

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    Kissing Spine Surgery Cost and results

    I won't go into detail on my horse but for those of you who've had the surgery done, was it worth the cost? Did your horse go back to being totally sound? Did it not work for any of you? And if you don't mind sharing what it cost, I would love to know just to get a general ballpark. Thanks!

    ETA- Just to clarify I am referring to the newer surgery where they just go in and snip the ligaments.
    Last edited by Rusty15; Mar. 22, 2016, 08:16 PM.

    I was told general cost of the "standing snip" was aprox 2,000 and had a 75% rate...but my boy's eval appointment wound up leading to ultra sound bone scan and more xrays so the cost of determining he is not a good candidate at this time was a bit more than the procedure and resulted in "turn him out and maybe reeval in months" ya he was very painful upon palpation...basically be prepared to spend money ruling out any other issues.


      Original Poster

      Well I know for a fact he has kissing spine and have been managing it with injections and supplements but still having some difficulty keeping him sound and comfortable.


        My horse had one bad space, 2 so, so spaces and 2 close spaces - had all spaces remodelled. He had one of the best surgeons in the country do his bone remodeling procedure and he does not recommend the lig snip. Neither do the vets/surgeons at my local equine hospital. It cost $4500 for the bone surgery.
        My horse is doing great - way better than I could have hoped but it has been a very long road and he continues to be high maintenance in other areas (GI). I work incredibly hard and spend $$$$ to manage him. I would not do so except that he is a lovely horse and is great under saddle.
        What would I have done differently now I know what I do about KS and the symptoms? I would have had the surgery when he was 3 or 4. He was mildly symptomatic then. Instead I waited and treated with injections until he was 7. He is 9 now. The injections worked minimally. So because I waited he has some hock issues, some neck issues and stomach/fore gut issues from the long term chronic pain. He is otherwise completely sound. I would have also sent him to rehab for a month of water treadmill work. I know 2 other horses well that have had KS - one has had surgery and seems to have a million probs still and the other needs surgery but has some other possible issues.
        So, before you even consider any sort of surgery make darn sure there are no other possible soundness issues lurking in there somewhere. Be prepared for a long haul. Yes some horses bounce back incredibly fast but I think that is the exception not the rule. I think that the post op rehab may be the game changer so if that is possible for you, do it. I am considering it this summer for a month for my horse after the last summer show.


          Silverdog, what were his mild symptoms at 3 or 4?


            Kissing spine sx

            My horse had the snip surgery two years ago at Unionville equine in PA. Cost was around 2,000.00. Horse had two spots of grade three kissing spine. We attempted to medically manage her for years with Tilden and shock wave but she was never really pain free.

            She has not had any back pain since the surgery. Her X-rays no longer show kissing spine or inflammation. I can't remember recovery time exactly but I think it was six weeks of rest and then a month of lunging. It was a very easy recovery.

            I plan to show my mare third and possibly fourth level this year. All of the "training" issues I use to have: not willing to take contact, head tossing in upward transitions, inability to lift at the withers, etc. have all gone away since the surgery.

            Best 2,000.00 I ever spent.

            Not all horses are good candidates for this type of back surgery so make sure you talk to a few surgeons about your horse specifically.


              My vet and chiro do not recommend the lig snip but YMMV. They feel that they see problems later with the spinal levels that border where you have done the lig snip. (if you snipped T-12, you could have issues with T-11 and/or T-13 later) According to them, and they love to operate and have a big hospital, the original surgeon who developed the lig snip doesn't recommend them anymore. But you will find people here who it has worked well for so I don't know what to tell you. My boy, a short backed TB, has T-13/T-14 KS and is being treated conservatively but that is NOT cheap. But he also was not carrying himself correctly which contributed to his KS and that was corrected.....and a new saddle.....well, the list goes on but you get the gist.
              "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope


                "Silverdog, what were his mild symptoms at 3 or 4? "
                He had trouble considering taking contact and lowering his neck. Seemed uncoordinated and bobbed his neck. We initially assumed it was due to age. He did very little under saddle work as a 3 year old. At age 5 and 6 it worsened to the point where his canter was very awkward and he always had trouble getting into the canter.
                While his dressage is still not the greatest (we are very forgiving with him and keep it as stress free as possible), he is awesome in stadium and cross country and has developed a very powerful gallop. We spend a lot of time making up points after dressage!!