Cortisone injections in the knee - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-27-2009, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Flower Mound, TX
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Cortisone injections in the knee

I was given Starship a little over a year ago, he is an OTTB who won over $230K. His trainer wanted him to be usefull to someone as he is too young for retirement (14).
When I got him I was warned he had knee issues from an old slap fracture and had developed arthritis. I am giving him supplements (glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM).
This is what it looks like: Starship22 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
He got kicked in the shoulder 3 monhts ago and was confined to his stall for 2 months to let him heal. When I started riding him again he was off, I remembered he had been off before the kick and had the vet come out. We gave him a shot of legend and he is to get bute daily "to take the edge off".
2 Weeks later again, still off. He looks and feels awefull. So I called his trainer again to discuss retirement or finding him a pleasure home, I ride dressage and really want to compete. He told me that I was warned he has this issue and that I should have the vet out to give him a cortisone shot and he'd be ok in no time. When he was still racing he got up to 2 shots a year and he was fine. That it was a wonder he had lasted this long without one.
Does anyone have experience with cortisone shots?
I looked it up online and found different stories, from " it is awesome" to "sure, if it works", to "hell no, you're not doing a horse any favors".
I don't want to be that person who just keeps a horse going because I want to ride, but I don't want to retire him when I can keep him going without making it worse for him.
knaskedov is offline  
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-27-2009, 02:24 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: small town in NC
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While I don't have experience with them with my horses I have personal experience, I have had numerous injections in both my knees. Yes they might help alleviate the pain and cushion the joint temporarily but it is not a permanent solution! I don't think that you are going to be doing him any favors because even though the injections help with the pain and the symptoms temp it will not solve the problem and the joint will still continue to have problems and they will get worse. I think that it would be best to find him a nice pleasure home where the demand on the joint is less than competitive home.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-28-2009, 01:03 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Alberta, Canada
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My mom gets cortisone (sp) injections.
Thats all I got to say though lol. I have no experience in the matter :)
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-28-2009, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: East Texas
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Steroids injected into the joint serve to control inflammation--inflammation can lead to arthritic changes in the joint. So, they serve to reduce pain and help prevent further arthritic changes to the joint. It is very common for vets to inject a steroid and a product like hyularonic acid into the joint at the same time so that along with the effects of the steroid you add extra viscosity to joint fluid to help further protect the joint. These types of injections can provide quite a lot of relief and also slow deterioration in the joint depending on what is causing the pain so it's well worth discussing with your vet and getting some x-rays to see exactly what is going on.

(Lots of experience with joint injections in competitive horses.)

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
Ryle is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 06-29-2009, 09:35 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Western US
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Hey there...
I have heard of cortisone inj's in horses and my experience as a person who has had them is sometimes they help and sometimes they do not.
I would say if it helps the horses comfort go for it but you should really look into finding a horse that might better be able to compete if this is what you would like to do. My vet does these injection and has said I may need to consider them inthe future but at this time I am nt interested in competing ...I love dressage too. In the past I was a 3 day girl all the way! Big jumps and lots of dressage.
I have dealt with many TB's from the track and have one myself....If I were going to consider getting back into competeing I thnk I might purchase a warmblood
This does not mean your special horses life is over at 14!!! I would say that with proper management he will still be useful in some fashon.
I certainly hope this has helped and that things will get better
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-07-2009, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Flower Mound, TX
Posts: 95
• Horses: 1
Starship is going to see the vet tomorrow. His trainer arranged for him to see city's only surgeon to perform the procedure, first his knee will be drained and then he will get the cortisone injected into the joint.
I wasn't sure this is the right thing to do, but his trainer convinced me his knee cannot get any worse, so there is no reason for him to be in pain. He gets bute every day now, how is this any different, besides that it will be more effective?
I'm nervous and exited at the same time. If this works I'll have my awesome horse back the way he was. If it doesn't work at least I tried everything I could think of.
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