Back Pain (Surgery)


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Back pain is a complex topic in our equine athletes. Rider weight and equestrian discipline and style let equal radiographic findings gain or lose clinical relevance.

It is therefore our first and foremost obligation to rule spinous disease and pain in or out when resistance to the rider or unspecific misbehavior and pain symptomology is observed. Aside from baseline radiographs, we utilize a combination of local anesthesia and often rely on scintigraphic significance.

When the diagnosis confirmed and the area of interest and concern are narrowed down, we usually tend to stay away from surgery as long as possible, depending on severity of clinical signs and previous medical attempts before referral.

If a surgical decision is made, we attempt to choose the approach that promises the best result while being least invasive. Our most successful techniques include partial ostectomy, wedge ostectomy (either under general anesthesia or in the standing, sedated patient) or interspinous ligament desmotomy.

The time needed to recover for ridden exercise and initiation of rehab is usually surprisingly short and success rates are high.

We are happy to consult with you which choice may be best for your horse. If you would like more information on this procedure, please contact us via email at CESH@purdue.edu or call us at 317-398-1980 and we will be happy to assist you.

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-7607

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