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Fractured olecranon (elbow) in yearling

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  • Fractured olecranon (elbow) in yearling

    My yearling filly by Contucci out of a DaCaprio/Matcho AA mare came in VERY lame yesterday and had it x-rayed today and she has a fractured olecranon (elbow). I was wondering if anyone has had success with this injury surgery or otherwise. The surgery costs about $7,000 and involves putting a plate and screws and he said would be about a 52% success rate (the fracture is close to the joint) and only that it will heal not be a riding horse. It would involve 1 year of layup and another surgery to remove the plate. This is if all goes well. The big risk is getting up after surgery if they shatter it, they are done.

    Another option is to just keep her in a stall and x-ray it every month and see if it heals as it lined up pretty well. But how would you do such things as trim her feet when she can't put weight on her front leg? Is it worth it for her to be in pain that long?

    Third option is obviously put her down.

    I know what I am leaning towards but would like to hear any success stories with this injury.
    Standing TB stallion Ransom Paid in 2007
    16.3h Bay with 9" bone
    Alyssap87@yahoo.com
    http://www.apsporthorses.com
    http://community.webshots.com/user/lalis12

  • #2
    I have a friend who had her upper level mare do this, opted for the surgery, got her back in to competition and has now a foal or two from her.
    Good luck and prayers for your nice youngster.
    Anne
    -------
    "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist

    Comment


    • #3
      Well I would be tempted to just keep her in and see how things progress if it is all lined up and the vet feels it might work. Young animals in general have a great ability to heal themselves so I think her age may be to your benefit. However, keeping her quiet on stall rest might be another matter, especially if she starts to feel better a month or so down the road. But either way you chose you will have an extended layup period. Does she lay down at all? If so I would trim her while she was down if she was comfortable with you going in with her.

      I had a friend with a 2yr old that fractured his front leg, I can't remember if it was the elbow or shoulder area but it was high up. Anyways, the horse was REALLY lame on it for about 2 months and it was grossly swollen from top to bottom for weeks, then the swelling started to come down, after about 6 months you would never have known he had injurd himself. It did heal up and he had a competitive career on it though that was MANY years ago so I am not sure if it bothered him further down the road or not.

      Sorry to hear about your girl and best of luck with her!
      Cindy's Warmbloods
      www.cindyswarmbloods.com Cindy's Warmbloods
      www.facebook.com/CindysWarmbloods Join Us on Facebook for latest updates!

      Comment


      • #4
        I had a yearling filly do this several years ago.

        We discussed surgery, but in the end, we opted for stall rest. She was kind of a flightly filly, so we tried to just leave her alone and let her be quiet. She didn't bear any weight on that leg, so we wrapped the other leg for support.

        The muscles atrophied badly on that shoulder, with all that time that she didn't use it. However, she healed up perfectly, and today you would never know that she had ever had any issues whatsoever. She is now 100% sound.
        Family Partners Welsh Ponies - Home of Section B Welsh stallion *Wedderlie Mardi Gras LOM/AOE http://www.welshponies.com
        Click here to buy: A Guide To In Hand Showing of Your Welsh Pony

        Comment


        • #5
          We had a two year old filly with this injury and it healed perfectly. She was 100% sound and scar free.

          Comment


          • #6
            This happened to my show mare at 15. I "opted" for surgery. (Wasn't really given a choice at the teaching hospital, stilled pissed about it. They didn't even think she had a broken leg, I had to force them to x-ray her.) The mare coliced severely from the surgery and we lost her on the table for colic surgery.

            If I had it to do all over again she would have just come home to see what we could have done with stall rest.
            \"In all manners of opinion, our adversaries are insane.\" Mark Twain

            Comment


            • #7
              I had a large 10 month old filly with a broken elbow. I put her in my run-in shed, well bedded. My shed is 32' long and 12' deep. I moved my round bale feeder down to one end and put in a large water trough for her. I nailed up boards to about 6' high, with big spaces in between so she could see out, and I fastened a gate (for me to get in and out) to the center shed suppports. She then had about a 20' x 12' stall. That made it much, much easier than a regular stall to get up and down as that was difficult with the broken elbow. I cut her feed waaaayyyyyyyyyy down to almost nothing. I didn't cut it out altogether as it was a good way to be sure I went out to see her every day. She got about 3/4's lb of well soaked beet pulp pellets (totally digestible fiber) with 1 lb of ration balancer mixed in, and chopped carrots. She didn't need enough feed to get hot, but enough to heal.

              The vet had told me to keep her in a stall for about 4 - 6 weeks and then hand walk her. HA!! Not on your life. She was in this big stall for about 10 weeks. At first, she barely moved around and slowly and carefully lay down to rest and slowly got up. As she began to heal, she walked and walked in the big stall, but still restricted. At about 3 months, I figured she was all healed up. I figured this when I went up that day and she started to do little bucks and half hearted kicks around me. OK, back to the house for some ace paste. Gave it to her, let her settle, and started taking down the boards I had nailed up. When I was done, I walked out of the shed slowly, and she follewed me slowly.

              All of a sudden, she realized she was out. She gave one big buck, kind of went 'whoops' and just started to walk and walk and walk. She healed with absolutely no sign she'd ever been injured. She's done a fews shows, she was inspected as a mare, passed her MPT with flying colors and a very good score for rideability and is now an Elite Mare Candidate, waiting for her first Premium Foal to be Elite.
              Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
              Now apparently completely invisible!

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by showjumpers66 View Post
                We had a two year old filly with this injury and it healed perfectly. She was 100% sound and scar free.
                Did you have the surgery or just stall rest?

                Squirt- That is what I was afraid of.. It is not a simple surgery and it would be a lot of stress on a baby. I know stall rest will be hard on her too but not as much. We are already starting her on gastroguard and will start her on Platinum Performance Osteon.

                The other stories about stall rest are encouraging as that is what I am most likely going to do.
                Standing TB stallion Ransom Paid in 2007
                16.3h Bay with 9" bone
                Alyssap87@yahoo.com
                http://www.apsporthorses.com
                http://community.webshots.com/user/lalis12

                Comment


                • #9
                  Surgery ... large plate with about 30 screws

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I had a client's standardbred race mare that got kicked in the elbow and shattered it in 40+ pieces. Because of the multiple fractures and that it was an open wound, it could not be plated. I splinted this mare for 3 months and she healed well enough to lead a pain free life as a broodmare. Poor horse, after the fracture we diagnosed a granulosa cell tumor (which is why she may have gotten kicked in the first place). We had the ovary removed via a standing laparoscopy/laparotomy. She delivered a lovely filly 2 nights ago.
                    Entropy Farm
                    www.entropyfarm.com
                    Home of Roc USA
                    I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We had a yearling with a fractured ulnar (elbow) and elected to have the surgery... After a plate and 20 or so screws, he is 100% sound and happy! Also, we were told that the plate did not need to ever be removed, unless we "wanted" to. He is older now and going under saddle without any issues. The surgeon did say that the getting up after surgery is the biggest risk, as well as infection after. This biggest hassle was the meds and wound care post surgery. It is a project to keep the upper part of the leg wrapped! He was great for the stall rest, we used a 12 x 20 stall and provided lots of toys for him. After the stall rest, he progressed to a small paddock and then back to normal turnout. Our out of pocket was about $3500 and we used the best surgeon in FL! But, that was a couple of years ago!

                      Best of luck with your filly. Keep us posted!

                      Sending jingles your way.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Had a foal that had an olecranon fracture and had surgery to repair it. This was followed by lots of stall rest.
                        He is now 3 yrs old and started in work and broke to ride, and you would never know he ever had a problem.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          JINGLES & AO ~ ALWAYS OPTIMISTIC ~

                          Jingles for your filly and you during this struggle ~

                          Jingle Jingle Jingle & AO AO AO
                          Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I do not know much about this type of injury but my ex racer mare broke her canon bone in a race as a 2 year old. Surgury was needed and vets gave her a slim chance of recovery ..... but due to her bloodlines her old owner didn't give up and opted for surgury.

                            Pricey surgury and several screws later my mare is 100% sound and the vet can barely tell she had a break other than the metal in her leg.

                            Unfortunetly, she will never be a jumper but she is suitable for dressage. She does have some 'ouchy' days when she gallops in the field but she is fine under normal work.


                            We gave her six months stall rest and a year field rest....


                            Best of luck!
                            http://dotstreamming.blogspot.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My eleven year old had a similar injury plus a break in the growth plate as a baby (ten years ago this month). Surgery wasn't an option because of the second break. Stall rest worked great. It's never caused any problems since it healed, he can jump and everything.
                              Still Crazy After All These Years

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I had this exact thing happen to a two month old foal after being kicked. The fracture was not on the growth plate. Vet said either six weeks of stall rest or sugery (same thing). Vet said high chance of foal recovering as if nothing had ever happened but worst case scenario pasture sound. We opted for stall rest as we were planning on keeping her as a future broodmare and the chances of full recovery without surgery were good. The stall rest part was hard (especially on the mare) but foal recovered 100 percent, xrays were perfect at six weeks.

                                Interesting she went from total three legged lame to weight bearing within a week. After a few weeks she was running around her stall. They are so resilient when they are young, so chances are good I think.

                                Unfortunatey same filly broke her cannon in a freak accident as a yearling and could not be saved, so hard to say how it would have been. But she was 100 percent sound up until then.

                                Good luck!!
                                www.svhanoverians.com

                                "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Thanks everyone for the support. We are going to do just the stall rest and see where we are at in a few months. She is able to lay down and get up without much trouble and she's very quiet in her stall (for now anyways!) so I think we have a good chance. I will keep y'all updated on how she is doing!
                                  Standing TB stallion Ransom Paid in 2007
                                  16.3h Bay with 9" bone
                                  Alyssap87@yahoo.com
                                  http://www.apsporthorses.com
                                  http://community.webshots.com/user/lalis12

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Wishing your filly an uneventful recovery. It's great to hear all the positive outcomes from this type of injury.
                                    As is our confidence, so is our capacity. ~W. Hazlitt

                                    Gift Hill Farm

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Jingles. Mercy. Horses know every which way to drive us nuts.There are certainly lots of good outcomes. I hope your horse does as well.
                                      www.ncsporthorse.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by alyssap87 View Post
                                        My yearling filly by Contucci out of a DaCaprio/Matcho AA mare came in VERY lame yesterday and had it x-rayed today and she has a fractured olecranon (elbow). I was wondering if anyone has had success with this injury surgery or otherwise. The surgery costs about $7,000 and involves putting a plate and screws and he said would be about a 52% success rate (the fracture is close to the joint) and only that it will heal not be a riding horse. It would involve 1 year of layup and another surgery to remove the plate. This is if all goes well. The big risk is getting up after surgery if they shatter it, they are done.

                                        Another option is to just keep her in a stall and x-ray it every month and see if it heals as it lined up pretty well. But how would you do such things as trim her feet when she can't put weight on her front leg? Is it worth it for her to be in pain that long?

                                        Third option is obviously put her down.

                                        I know what I am leaning towards but would like to hear any success stories with this injury.
                                        I think there has been some good success with the surgery.

                                        Here is an article from the horse magazine:

                                        lecranon Fracture Repair Has Good Prognosis

                                        by: Chad Mendell
                                        June 01 2006, Article # 7014


                                        Print Email Add to Favorites ShareThis
                                        Olecranon (point of the elbow) fractures are common orthopedic problems in foals often attributable to being kicked while playing, rambunctious behavior, or falling over backward (which they are more apt to do than older horses).

                                        In a joint study from the University of Missouri (UM) Comparative Orthopaedic Laboratory and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Ky., researchers followed the careers of 24 racehorses that underwent olecranon fracture fixation surgery (such as screws and plate fixation) as foals. In general, the prognosis for olecranon fractures to heal after surgical repair is good, but there had yet to be a study focusing on racing prognosis, which would allow quantification of this theory.

                                        Researcher John Janicek, DVM, an equine surgical resident at UM, said of the 24 horses in the study, 22 healed completely. Of those, 16 (73%) went on to race at least once.

                                        "Of the six horses that failed to race and for which long-term followup was available, three developed musculoskeletal injuries not associated with the fracture repair; one developed significant ulnar dysplasia (elbow joint incongruity); one acquired metacarpophalangeal joint contracture (knuckling over of the fetlock joint) and delayed bone union; and one was euthanized because of gastrointestinal disease during training," Janicek explained.

                                        "Overall, more than two-thirds of the (24) foals that were operated on started in at least one race, suggesting that horses undergoing olecranon fracture stabilization as juveniles have an equivalent prognosis for maintaining athletic soundness and the ability to race in comparison with their siblings," Janicek said. "An olecranon fracture itself is not going to prevent these juvenile racehorses from developing into a sound horse, but the ensuing degenerative osteoarthritis associated with articular fractures, ulnar dysplasia development, or some other musculoskeletal injury may be a substantial factor."

                                        Race record results for these horses were compared with starts of siblings from the same dams (61%) and the national average for racehorses that didn�t have this problem that started at least one race (Thoroughbred 69% and Standardbreds 66%). Janicek stated "the likelihood of horses with olecranon fractures to race was not significantly different when compared to their siblings; however, on average, the siblings did have more lifetime starts and higher career earnings."

                                        Although the study evaluated potential racehorses, he said this information can be applied to all equestrian disciplines.

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