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Injured Stifle Clique

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  • Injured Stifle Clique

    Well, it sounds like a lot of us are dealing with injured stifles

    I would love a place to share information and offer support .

    So introduce yourself and your horse...

    I am Amy and have a 9 y/o TB gelding C.J.

    He was always weak in his right hind. Last spring he came up lame on his right hind, intermittently. In the summer we did a steroid injection which worked well for several months. The first week in December he came up acutely lame after a trail ride and jumping lesson but no known injury.

    Rest and hock and stifle injections didn't help.

    Took him to Cornell where xray and US diagnosed large osteophytes and some arthritis.

    HA injection
    rest and walking for a month
    HA injection
    walk, trot and small pen t/o
    very gradual return to flat work.
    No turns or circles, no lunge, no collection, no jumping until he can go at least 2 weeks of 45 min a day sound on the flat.

    Prognosis: Fair for full return, Fair to Good for flat, light riding or pasture sound.

    We are on week 1.....and $1500 and counting (NOT including the prev. stifle and hock injections)
    Ransomed from Suerteland.

    “Half the failures in life arise from pulling in one's horse as he is leaping.”
    August Hare

  • #2
    I'll join!

    Mo is a 11 y/o Warmblood
    Came back from a lease out of shape and midly lame left hind. After 2 weeks of no progress vet came out, gave him some stifle injections which did nothing. X-Rays came up clean, ultra sound showed us the tissue damage in the left hind. We are on week 4 of stall rest, and won't be able to tell how it's going until he is re-ultra sounded in 2 weeks.

    We're up to $2,000 and counting so I feel your pain. Jingles for everyone going through this for a healthy recovery -my fingers are crossed he will be rideable eventually.


    • Original Poster

      Anyone used Adequan for a stifle? I am starting CJ on this week and am really hoping it helps since his issue is arthritis...

      But I really wonder if the osteophytes are a result of ligament injury and I should give him more strict stall rest (like months instead of weeks).

      Its sooooo hard to not second guess constantly!
      Ransomed from Suerteland.

      “Half the failures in life arise from pulling in one's horse as he is leaping.”
      August Hare


      • #4
        I have a gelding with weak stifles (starts out lame and then works out of it)
        We stood him up a little more behind (squared and shortened toes) and put him on a loading dose of estrone (1 shot every 5 days for 5 shots) and
        then monthly. It helped a lot.


        • #5
          estrone helped mine alot also, as did squaring off the toe, plus careful rehab by a person experienced in that area. I am not even going to bother counting up the bill, I would have a major heart attack.


          • #6
            Injured Stifle eh?

            Heck, count me in....

            I also am an "Amy" and have a 15year old Morgan... We slipped on a road about a month ago, and haven't been right since. After a steriod injection w/HA and some stall rest we were finally allowed to be on light turnout. So here it is 3 weeks post treatment and we're not even close to being better.

            The vet is coming out again tomorrow for a re-eval. but told me to call Dr.Allen/Leesburg/New Bolton and make an appt. for diagnostics. <sigh>

            This does get better right??
            Proud owner of a Spicy mare!!


            • Original Poster

              My vets said stifles were tricky and often become chronic...NOT something I wanted to hear.

              Its pretty hard to keep a TB on stall rest!

              What is estrone? What does it do?
              Ransomed from Suerteland.

              “Half the failures in life arise from pulling in one's horse as he is leaping.”
              August Hare


              • #8
                The basic non medical type answer is estrone is a hormone that relaxes the ligaments of the stifle to allow a horse with weak, stuck stifles to pick up the leg more easily. This combined with proper farrier work and the appropriate type of exercise to build up the muscles surrounding the stifles is often prescribed for horses that have "stuck stifles". My particular horse was stuck in both legs as a result of a pasture accident and lack of condition being a recently acquired rescue horse. He has been in rehab since October, is much much improved, but still needs a few more months of very consistent rehab. Hence me not wanting to add the bill up. I am however, very eternally grateful to the wonderful lady doing this with him.


                • #9
                  I'll play:

                  Rocky, 20 year old OTTB got tangled up in something out in the field and tweaked the stifle disentangling himself. It think i found the culprit, a down tree with roots arching up out of the ground and hoof prints near it........meet mr. saw. This is on top off finally coming back into a normal routine after a URI.
                  He was injured on a Sunday, but not lame, just some bumps; put him back outside lameness showed up Monday, went on no turn out, and by tuesday he was so sore from compensating on the opposite leg that he couldn't hold a trot more than 2 stride, but he was super sound at the walk. The vet was out wednesday and confirmed upper leg injury, 99% certain it was the stifle (left). Put him on 7 days of bute and surpass, plus a short walk to the wash rack for hosing the leg. No more walking than that-we could go out to teh ring briefly to put him on the lunge and check his progress, but i think in total, we walked barely 200ft per day. By the following Sunday he was not lame, a bit stiff, but he worked out of it.

                  On day 6 of his stall rest, he barged out his door, and ran out to the field. He has show no effects from his jaunt, and given that, we started with short hand walks around a round pen, and some hand grazing. Also being TB and acting his shoe size more than his age, when we check him out on the lunge now, he usually throws in a few acrobatics, landing sound. We'll see how it goes.

                  though given the area affected, he won't be doing much more than walking and maybe some round pen turn out for now, to try to minimize him bouncing around.
                  Last edited by Rockfish; Apr. 2, 2007, 10:59 PM.
                  There's coffee in that nebula.


                  • #10
                    My 10 year old Appx. Quarter mare has a left stifle that has been sticky since day one, but until last summer, we were fine, doing the hunter circuits at 2'6, jumping up to 3ft. at home. Anyway, last summer she was in a stall (bad) for almost 2 days straight at a horse show and caught her left hind so badly that she was 3-legged lame. We took her to Leesburg for ultrasound. Found no ligament injury. Rx was conditioning work, hills, straight lines etc... Well, we did all that, plus Adequan 7 treatments every 4 days, Legends and finally a joint injection. We have had ups and downs. My trainer is very concerned, thinking she has damaged cartilage. We are going to Va. Equine Imaging next week. Hopefully we will have some answers.
                    She lets you know when it hurts, by cross cantering, bunny hopping at the canter, favoring the right lead, rushing and just being generally bitchy. She also head tilts, which is strange. She is on Depo right now,which seems to help her moods, and today we had a lovely ride on the flat. I am at a crossroads. I am really hoping we figure this out next week!!


                    • #11
                      Oh boy, will I join! I've got TWO stifle problems: one solved, the other starting to get solved.

                      First one took, really, a year. The key, from what I've read is to strengthen the stifle muscles (e.g., the muscles that support the joint.)

                      The other one strained his stifle in the pasture being a Bozo. *sigh* He is starting back in work this week: walking until he can walk one hour without complaint and ONLY ONLY in straight lines. No circles. He is currently taking Cosequin AND Hyaluronex.

                      The first horse had hyaluronex only...and is fine now. But it did take months and months of walking first, then trotting. Straight lines only. BTW, the advantage of all this slow work is you can really work on your seat.
                      "For God hates utterly
                      The bray of bragging tongues."
                      Sophocles, Antigone Spoken by the Leader of the Chorus of Theban Elders


                      • Original Poster

                        I feel bad because my trainer and home vet had me work CJ collected and over cavaletti and always on a 20m to strengthen the stifle (too cold for hills) and all this time I should have been resting it and going straight.

                        I feel a little mad at them right now...

                        Cornell said NO circles, NO collection, NO cavaletti until he is sound for 2 weeks and then GRADUAL buildup. I hope I didn't screw it up so much that he never heals.

                        Ransomed from Suerteland.

                        “Half the failures in life arise from pulling in one's horse as he is leaping.”
                        August Hare


                        • #13
                          I have a stifle problem too but not an injury per say! Rosie has intermittent UFP. I have tried Estrone, conditioning, EPSM diet (she is a Draft X), no work etc but after more than a year she is still the same. She is out 24/7 already. She is coming 5 and we hope she will grow out of it. But i just noticed her huge butt was high again so she is still growing! Due to financial woes I have not any diagnostic work done. She has been to vet about 3 times but nothing has worked. She is only lame under saddle and passes all flexion tests. It seems if she had some trauma that she would be better on bute but she is not!

                          The vet is puzzled and we are considering injecting her. Has anyone tried this injection of an acid?? Supposedly scars the liagment and tightens it?? Must be painful so I have resisted. With me my other horse is finally sound after 1/ 1/2 years of rehab! so I have someone to actually ride in a circle or maybe canter and even jump! Having another horse to ride makes it easier to stick my head in the sand!

                          My advice is to trot, trot and trot again. Gunnar was a stifely boy and he had a trotting regimen of at least 20 minutes 5 days a week. On non lesson days he most likely did not even canter! But he stayed strong and sound because of it! So get out there and trot as much as you can!

                          I only owned her for 1 month before this happened so I have been very frustrated to say the least. I am trying to be positive but boy is it tough! Try riding your 4 year old, mostly untrained, Draft X in a frame! The vet wants her collected at walk and trot so she does not stick that leg out behind her! Needless to say she is bored with walking and some collected trotting. And her mouth is hard as a rock now so I am probably stuck with that for life. I ride her in the open and she likes to go faster than is allowed so it become a fight. Someday I hopoe to be able to let her go!

                          Good luck to you all!


                          Rerider/Haydunker Clique

                          RIP Barbaro, you were my hero!


                          • #14
                            okay...I'll play and ask for advice at the same time (while I down my second glass of wine). My horse was diagnosed with a deformed/damaged meniscus about a month ago. He was injected with HA and stall rest for about four weeks. Today I got him out and he jogged the same way that he went in to the stall four weeks ago, 3/5. I had an appointment with the vet on Monday but I thought I would call him just to run it by him first before I shipped him an hour away. He said that he would at least expect some improvement at this point and said that it would be best to turn him out in a small paddock for another 30 days to see what happens. At the end of 30 days of paddock rest, he said that if he jogged the same, 3/5 that he could inject with steroid and try to get him back again. Of course, I'm not going that route since steroid is only going to mask the problem. I guess I'm concerned that 30 days stall rest is not enough but then again, the horse is going nuts in the stall even with Reserpine! He is weaving, cribbing and stall walking. I think he is doing more damage in his stall then out in a small paddock. Any thoughts or insights? I asked about surgery, Tildren, stem cell, etc but he thought that the horse would show some improvement at this point and said all of those treatments would be wasting my money. Anyway....count me in as a founding member!


                            • #15
                              Just bought a cute OTTB from an outfit here in GA that places reacehorses directly from the track. This one wasn't cheap. Did a very thorough PPE with xrays of everything but the stifles. Horse was lame behind when we first climbed on him three days after he arrived. After changing his shoes, rest, chiro with no relief, I called my vet. Xrays show that his left stifle has basically collapsed- he has significant arthritis with a possible floating chip. GREAT! I'm waiting on the blood test results to see if anything was masked during the PPE. I have no idea how he could have been sound for the exam. I have no idea yet how to proceed. I'm hoping I can inject the joint, build him up and make him comfortable. Not what I was expecting.


                              • Original Poster

                                Jsalem, oh what a dissappointment! I am so sorry!

                                Kiwi: I thought meniscal damage was surgical? But then I have read some other thoughts on the subject

                                I don't think small pen rest (if the horse was calm) would be much worse than a restless horse in a stall.
                                Ransomed from Suerteland.

                                “Half the failures in life arise from pulling in one's horse as he is leaping.”
                                August Hare


                                • #17
                                  From what I was told, the meniscus is not torn but damaged from wear and tear. In fact I was told that they "think" it is the meniscus but can't be sure so that is why surgery is not really an option. I'm thinking about doing shock wave in about 2 weeks at the cost of 600.00 per treatment. After talking to someone at New Bolton, they thought that lack of any exercise, including complete stall rest is not good for my guy so now we are doing handwalking to see if it helps. At least it will help my guys brain a bit......I will continue to post as things progress....


                                  • #18
                                    11 yr old arab - was pushed way to hard before I bought him. Was basically shown into the ground. About 2 yrs ago he had a bone chip in his stifle, and he also has bad hocks. We did the surgery to remove the chip, twice, the first time the vet didn't get all of it. His hocks were injected. He came back after 8 months of gradual work. Then he got a digital flexor tendon injury, he was off again this time for a year. The tendon injury healed, he still has bad hocks and some arthritis in his stifle that had the surgery. However I found a great supplement that is working great for him, Hyaluronex. I also have him shod all around with 3/4" 1/2 round shoes. The shoes make his hocks move like he doesn't have a problem. Between the supplement and the shoes we are back in the show ring. It was a long road, and I tried every supplement I could find. I don't have any hills where I live so I lunge him with a double linge line, one going from his halter to me, the other on the other side of his halter, going around his side opposite of the side I am on, and coming around and resting on his hocks. The line stays loose laying on his hocks and he picks his back legs up a little more because of it, stregthening his stifles. It has worked great. He has come a long way. I just believed in him and everything worked out for the best.

                                    Good luck to all of you.

                                    Also to add - a vet told me once if you ever do a ppe, all you need to xray is the stifles, they will tell you everything you need to know. Wish I knew that sooner!


                                    • Original Poster

                                      That's interesting about xraying the stifles because its always hocks that seem standard...but after this I would never buy a horse without xrays all around!

                                      I gave my first Adequan injection. I am a nurse practitioner so shots aren't hard for me...and on a horse its even easier...he didn't even flinch. But it was still a little scary! He survived though.

                                      HOPING FOR A MIRACLE!!
                                      Ransomed from Suerteland.

                                      “Half the failures in life arise from pulling in one's horse as he is leaping.”
                                      August Hare


                                      • #20
                                        Had my vet check my stilfey boy. He injured his fall of '05. That was shortly after his diagnosis of kissing spines in spring of '05. (ugh). Vet thinks we can try adding adequan on top of the oral joint supplement. Its helped with the dogs he's worked on. We can also do legend.

                                        Ours was a minor injury that has turned chronic. We get special shoeing now and everything. They said today you can really see how he steps on the outside only of his right hind. Result of the sore stifle.

                                        Might ask about the estrone though. Any reference links?

                                        He was low maintanence before I bought him. Good thing he's cute.
                                        University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2012
                                        Member of the Asthmatic Riders & "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" cliques