Tendon sheath and annular ligament injury recovery


New Member
Apr 8, 2021
I have a 6 year old warm blood gelding who had a severe laceration to his tendon sheath in hind fetlock and had acute surgery to avoid infection. The operation went well although the surgeon noted that the annular ligament was severed and therefore decided to remove it altogether. He was placed in a cast after the operation and placed on box rest for a couple of weeks. After this time, the cast was changed to a bandage and placed in a small yard which was followed by daily hand walking. He had significant swelling but the vet surgeon said the prognosis was really good and that it would take about 4 months for recovery. Now, 12 months later he still has significant synovial fluid behind his pastern and around the fetlock area. I feel that an important step was missed with his post-op recovery, the development of scar tissue and constrictions and now we are dealing with that. The vet surgeon told me that he can do a tenoscopy but says the prognosis now is poor. I'm not happy to say the least as I spent significant money on him only as he was giving me a good initial prognosis. He is currently spelling in the paddock and is a happy paddock ornament but is lame 1-2/5. I have investigated different treatment such as shock wave therapy and laser but feel that I can’t justify spending the money on this after what I have already paid. I purchased an ARC microcurrent unit in recommendation but sadly admit after completing the full course, there is no improvement of his injury. I have started working him lightly (ground work and long reining) but he seems more lame afterwards so pulled back on his work. Does anyone in this group have had a luck with the recovery of these injuries? He frequently rests injured leg on his hind toe, so gather he is still uncomfortable.


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Well-Known Member
Apr 6, 2021
No idea about the injury but vets are not gods and can’t see in to the future. They can never say for definite that the horse will recover 100%. The can make a guess with reference to their previous experiences, treatment options etc ans can come up with their best plan. I would be doubtful your vet would have said “I am 100% certain your horse will become 100% recovered”. It is a really horrible fact that for some horses no matter what you do they can’t be fixed. (Been there with 2 expensive ops and still no horse)

I totally understand though that you don’t want to spend more money and that is your decision only. Perhaps get a mini work up to find out what the issue is and take it from there? If he is still 2/5 lame then you may have to make horrid choices.
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