Wednesday, December 27, 2006


One of the things my vets recommended for me to do while treating Kaswyn's knee injury was to ride him lightly. This was to see if the treatments of aspirin and bute were helping the situation. After the first week it became clear that my horse was definately sound, confirming that the meds were helping the inflammation.

I did some reading about bone injuries and then had a nice long chat with Dr. B. My concern was that riding him while he was healing might prolong the healing time or put him at risk for re-injury during work. Dr. B agreed that the most conservative route would be to give him about a month off. After 30 days we can take new x-rays of the knee to see if there is improvement. If not, shock wave therapy would be very helpful in the healing process.

I had done some reading about shock wave therapy for bone injuries prior to our conversation, and it's a very interesting therapy. It involves applying high-energy sound waves to the injured area with a special machine. Research shows that shock wave therapy can recruit osteoclasts (bone building cells) to the injured area, thus promoting healing and new bone growth. It also suggests that the shock waves effect the nerves of the area to provide temporary pain relief. Soft tissues don't seem to be effected. However, circulation is increased which also speeds healing and helps to reduce inflammation.

Dr. B didn't think we should do shock wave right now, as he thinks that time off will heal Kaswyn's problem. However, he also thinks that if there is no improvement in 30 days that the injury might have stagnated and plateaued in it's healing. In this case shock wave would be an excellent way to kick start healing. And get us back to training.

So we're walking. Again. This time I'm riding him while I walk and doing one lap of trot each direction to keep the joint weight bearing and hopefully keep the circulation up in the area without causing injury. We'll x-ray again in mid January.

So, a little recap of my horse's treatment in the past year -

Left hind pastern injection
Injection of all four hock joints in both hocks
Neurectomy left front
Multiple diagnostic nerve blocks
MRI both lower front limbs
Many x-rays
Possible (I'm guessing YES on this) shock wave therapy

So, lets have that be the end of it, huh?

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