Field injury: severe laceration to the right fore fetlock
Diagnosis: possible superficial flexor tendon ( SDFT) damage and risk of joint infection.
Immediately transferred to equine hospital for surgery. Wound cleaned and flushed. Wound stitched and cast for assistance in wound healing. Cast left on for 3 days. On cast removal, infection of the wound apparent. Swobs taken and wound cleaned on a daily basis. Medical bandaging to help support the limb.
2 weeks post surgery - referred to Veterinary Physiotherapy rehabilitation centre. Due to infection of the wound, the stitches had degraded and the wound was not stable. Significant inflammation and lameness.
The wound was treated with phototherapy and longwave ultrasound. Controlled exercise was introduced very early on to protect and stimulate movement of the SDFT, prevent adhesions and promote healing of the tendon tissue. This can inhibit healing of the wound, but due to the phototherapy treatment, the healing was hugely successful.
The photo library tracks the healing of the wound. Remarkably the wound healed enough to be able to scan the tendon at just 11 weeks post injury ( 9 weeks inpatient) No damage shown in the SDFT and no adhesions. Given all clear for small paddock turnout and increase exercise. Due to patient being a freshly backed young horse prior to injury, walk excise was increased and re breaking work done for 4 weeks before sitting a rider on again.
15 weeks post injury - horse discharged after being ridden and schooled in the arena. Click here to see the full video.
Tendon was palpated and checked 2 weeks post discharge to check no deterioration. Horse sound and back into normal exercise. No lasting damage, just a mild scar to the fetlock but with no reduction in flexion of the limb.
Six months post surgery, enjoying some gridwork!
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