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Condylar Fracture

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  • Condylar Fracture

    I am interested in a horse that has a condylar fracture. It was repaired and then the horse raced for 4 more years on it and has never been unsound per the owner. I am curious as to what the long term soundness potential is with a horse with this kind of fracture? I am going to speak further with the owner and call the surgeon as well, besides speaking with my vet. Any ideas?
    "If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man." Mark Twain

  • #2
    Not sure, but I'd say if the horse was racing 4 more years on the healed fracture, I'd say it will probably be okay. Especially if it is going to be a pleasure mount. But I'm no expert by any means!


    • #3
      There's no reason to be concerned about it. Buy the horse if you like it.


      • #4
        A non displaced condylar fracture is probably one of the least serious injuries a horse can get. Don't give it a second thought.
        McDowell Racing Stables

        Home Away From Home


        • #5
          I agree, if the horse raced for 4 years afterwards he is probably going to be fine for anything you could choose to do with him.

          Just a question tho - what do you expect to gain by calling the surgeon - who operated on him more than 4 years ago and has no doubt operated on thousands of horses since then? I cannot imagine he will be able to remember details on a horse he operated on that long ago. When was the last time the surgeon saw the horse in person?

          I am NOT trying to be snarky, just curious. I had an owner that had me calling people who had the horse years ago - it's irritating for me, the other people, and completely unproductive because what the horse did 3 years ago is completely irrelevant to what the horse is doing now. Granted it's not exactly the same scenario as what you describe.
          Jessi Pizzurro ~~ Pennyroyal Stables
          Racehorses, OTTBs ~~ 330 383 1281
          Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway. -- John Wayne


          • #6
            Let me clarify:

            "because what the horse did 3 years ago is completely irrelevant to what the horse is doing now."

            In this particular instance said horse was just a foal when those particular people had him, compared to 4 years later when he was a racehorse who had already won his first race. So comparing the foal to the mature racehorse was pretty pointless.
            Jessi Pizzurro ~~ Pennyroyal Stables
            Racehorses, OTTBs ~~ 330 383 1281
            Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway. -- John Wayne


            • #7
              There are 2 potential problems that might come up with this horse in the future. First, does the horse still have its screws in. Screws can cause irritation over time because they are not flexible, where bone is. Most people remove screws after the fracture has healed. If the horse raced for several years after the injury, I would think the screws were removed during the rehab process. But, you can't assume this, so ask. You may in the future be looking at having to take the horse to have them removed. Second, The cartilage on the distal end of the cannon bone can be damaged from the fracture. This horse may have raced for some time after the injury, but have they been injecting the joint? I would at least have the ankle x-rayed prior to purchase to determine the extent of any DJD. This could turn out to be a great horse for you. Many of these horses can go on to second careers with no difficulty. Good luck. Just ask questions first.


              • #8

                One the soundest most talented horses I ever owned had a the same type fracture. It dead stopped any future racing career. Owner waited for to many Vet opinions to be formed and surgery/screws were no longer an option.

                That horse competed in Dressage, 3-day, jumpers, and hunters "AA" champion many times over.
                Rood n Riddle did his x-ray evaluation when I sold him (for alot of $$) and were astounded but the healing process on such a deep fracture. Fortunately it a did not involve the joint by a hair.

                If after all this time horse has been racing sound, I would ask for his x-rays take a new set and go from there.

                If he has hardware thoough it may make reselling him very tough.
                I passed on a lovely young horse w/ screws in an ankle, he was big sound and pretty but hardware is a tough re-sell.


                • #9
                  We have had horses come in to our program that, aside from having gone through the racing wars, have screws in a hind leg--raced for years afterward and have had no problem jumping, etc., in their new lives. We had an older horse who had screws put in as a 9yo (hind) and while probably not going to be a jumper is sound for anything else, and one who has screws in a foreleg and is working toward upper level eventing, with the "go ahead" from the vet.

                  We have also had surgery done on horses with condylar fractures and the surgeon said they could potentially do anything, and never has recommended removing the screws (she is a reknowned orthopedic surgeon, and knows these horses are going on to new careers as jumpers, etc.).

                  The only problems with condylar fractures, in my understanding, is if the break involves the joint, then possible arthritic changes could be a problem. But if it is put back together cleanly, there should be no issues.

                  I would double check on the screw removal thing--I am not sure it is true that they have to come out, or even if you COULD take them out after four years!
                  Turning For Home, Inc.
                  Philadelphia Park Racehorse Retirement Program


                  • #10
                    We have a 10 yr old who fractured as a 3 yr old. It did not involve the joint. She has been eventing for a while and is now competing at intermediate. She has never had a related problem.