What a week!!

Mary Poppins

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#1
Thank you to everyone for such supportive and lovely comments I have received about Ben. I am really overwhelmed about how nice people are and how many of you I consider to be friends, even though I have never met most of you.

Ben went to hospital for a double arthroscopy on his stifles on Monday. After 8 months of lameness he was 3/5th lame and getting progressively worse. They basically found that the cartilage at the bottom of the femur bone on both sides was worn and significantly cracked so that every time weight was put on the stifle joint it caused pain. On his left side the cartilage was so worn it was almost bone on bone with sharp splints digging in and apparently he was lucky this had not caused a bone bleed.

He has had the damaged cartilage in both stifles removed and had PRP treatment to help scar tissue form. He now has 8 weeks box rest and if he is sound then controlled exercise will start. He will also most likely have injections into the T16 to 18 facets in his back as he has arthritis here, plus he has a lingering lameness in his right fore. This may be due to compensation but we don’t know yet.

The surgeon gave a ‘good’ prognosis for a full recovery. What they found was not what they were expecting to find so this caused some confusion.

He has been a little wild on box rest but we are finding a routine and he is adapting. He was a model patient in hospital and they were particularly impressed with how he simply woke up and stood up after the anesthesia with no issues at all.

So please can all the positive people on this forum keep your fingers crossed that the surgery has worked and he will get through this. We are almost one week down already so only 7 weeks to find out if he has improved.
 

Bodshi

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Thanks for the update. I hope the next 7 weeks don’t drag and that the procedure has worked. I don’t fully understand the cartilage thing - can he manage ok without the damaged cartilage which has been removed? Or will the scar tissue cause some regeneration of the cartilage?

Keeping everything crossed for you x
 
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Ale

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Everything crossed for you, amazed at how you just keep going despite everything that is thrown at you, really deserve some good luck now X
 
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Mary Poppins

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Thanks for the update. I hope the next 7 weeks don’t drag and that the procedure has worked. I don’t fully understand the cartilage thing - can he manage ok without the damaged cartilage which has been removed? Or will the scar tissue cause some regeneration of the cartilage?

Keeping everything crossed for you x
I don’t really understand it either to be honest. They thought he had a tear in his miniscus so I was preparing for that, so to find the problem was elsewhere in both stifles has thrown me.

I have many questions for my vet when he comes to remove the stitches next week, but my limited understanding is that the removal of the damaged cartilage has stopped the pain and the repeated inflammation of the joint. Both stifles were significantly swollen so he must have been in quite some pain. The PRP is a process where they take some blood, put it through a machine to remove bad bits and enhance good bits (a very simple way of looking at it), and then reinject into the damaged area. This promotes healing and causes scar tissue, and it is this scar tissue that will act in place of the cartilage in future.

It is a very long, slow road to get him better and on Wednesday when he came home he was so distressed I was questioning if I had done the right thing but putting him through months of box rest. But he is adapting and settling down slowly.

I don’t really know how he did it. A combination of bad trimming on his hind feet, overuse of the joint caused by my dressage lessons and conformation all play a part. We will never have proper lessons or do dressage again, I just want him field sound and we can go from there.

I am exhausted, not sleeping and can’t think straight. It has been such an emotional week and I now just want to settle down in a routine and look after him the best I can.
 
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Mary Poppins

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Everything crossed for you, amazed at how you just keep going despite everything that is thrown at you, really deserve some good luck now X
Thank you. I have been a bit of an emotional wreck this week to be honest but am now pulling myself together and getting on with it. But yes, some luck would be very welcome.x
 

Trewsers

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Very pleased to read this update. I'm sure you'll find a good routine, in my limited experience, they do settle into box rest - even if at first it seems they are unhappy and fidgety about it. Onwards and upwards - and if there comes the moments when you question doing the right thing, then just hold the good thought that the outcome is WORTH it and going to be good!!!:D
 
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Lemme

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good to read a positive post on this, box rest is a nightmare for some, Charlie had 12 weeks box rest, our vet left us with a sedative as he just didn't settle at all, not high dose just enough to knock the edge off his anxiety something you might explore if he finds it challenging. fingers crossed for you for a positive outcome.
 
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Jessey

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Its great they are using PRP instead of things with side effects, hopefully not using the big guns really reinforces that the surgery is expected to be a success :) so glad to hear he handled the anaesthetic well.
 
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Mary Poppins

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Its great they are using PRP instead of things with side effects, hopefully not using the big guns really reinforces that the surgery is expected to be a success :) so glad to hear he handled the anaesthetic well.
The surgeon didn’t offer any alternative treatment. He has already had all the injections possible, the only way to treat the damage cartilage was to remove it.
 

Jessey

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The surgeon didn’t offer any alternative treatment. He has already had all the injections possible, the only way to treat the damage cartilage was to remove it.
Yeah I meant to support it after removal, steroids are a stronger anti inflammatory (I know he had some before removal) so would have thought they would go that way if it needed big guns :) I was going to go for PRP with Jess but my friends horse had to have steroids as vet said he needed more than PRP as the joint was very inflamed (different joint I appreciate).
 

Mary Poppins

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Yeah I meant to support it after removal, steroids are a stronger anti inflammatory (I know he had some before removal) so would have thought they would go that way if it needed big guns :) I was going to go for PRP with Jess but my friends horse had to have steroids as vet said he needed more than PRP as the joint was very inflamed (different joint I appreciate).
They won’t inject any more steroids into the joint because they say it will do more harm than good due to the strength of the injections he had in May. I really need to learn more about PRP and how it is helping him. I had the option of postponing the PRP to see if he responded to removal of cartilage alone as it added over £800 to the cost of the operation, but I wanted to give him the best chance of success now. If he is still lame after 8 weeks he will have another 8 weeks on box rest and continue on bute. If he is still lame after that there really is nothing else they can do.
 
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