Stifle Recovery

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Stifle Recovery

This is a discussion on Stifle Recovery within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Can a horse heal from stifle injury
  • Stifle horse injury recovery success

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    02-06-2012, 06:50 PM
Stifle Recovery

Hi All:
Our Arab has been out of commission for about three months now and I am getting concerned over his recovery time. He hurt his hind legs slipping on ice in October. The vet checked him out and put him on stall rest in the evenings and q pen during the day. After 8 weeks the vet checked him out again and he is all good now except now he sprained his stifle in the right side. He was put on 6 more weeks stall rest no outdoor q pen (he was spinning on his hind leg apparently out of bordom which is how he injured himself again). Three weeks later and he is still limping and is going stir crazy being cooped up. Is this a normal time frame for this type of injury?
Thanks for any insight...
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    02-07-2012, 06:48 AM
Stifle injuries can take months to heal. Did the vet ultrasound or suggest sweating his stifle to tighten it back up?
We had a mare that had stifle problems and we sweat her hocks with DMSO and Furasone for the first week to help tighten it up. We put her out in the indoor arena on level ground daily (all day) so she wouldnt build up any excess energy and for the first several weeks she was hand walked on level ground in a straight line (no circles or backing until some strength and stability was gained).
Her entire healing process took us 5 month and we did not get on her back to ride her until then. She was ridden lightly first at a walk for a few weeks, then jogged and now finally after about 6 months she is back to her normal self.
It certainly depends on the injury and how severe it is. It is better to air on the side of caution if you want your horse to be sound again and stay that way.
Backing is a great exercise to do to strengthen the stifle but our vet did not allow us to back her until she was very sound in her stifle again. Again I believe it depends on your vet and what advice he/she gives. Make sure your vet is good with lameness issues also. Best of Luck. Take your time and it will heal.
    02-07-2012, 06:54 AM
Just a note in addition..we tried stall rest and we found she was forced to turn on her haunches in the stall because space was limited. She was a big mare (16 hands) so even her 12 x 14 made her use her haunches to turn.
After a day out in the arena she settled and we never even saw her lope or jog for at least 2 months. Our vet did not bute or give her pain killers beyond the first week because he felt that she needed to feel it when she was overdoing it and he was right. Hope that helps explain why we didnt use stall rest. Every horse is different though.
    02-07-2012, 05:08 PM
Have you had it x-rayed or done an ultrasound?

The reason I ask... we had a stifle injury that was showing very little improvement. An x-ray turned up a fractured patella. Never would have known otherwise.

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