Check ligament rehab experience?

ycbm

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Sugar did hers just as COVID first kicked off here. Vet scanned and recommended a couple of sessions of shock wave therapy, with walking. We did in hand for a few weeks as wasn’t allowed to ride at the barn, then once the barn re-opened we were under saddle for rehab.

The vet set out a rehab plan and regular check ups, she went lame in Feb and we were back in full work (jumping etc.) by August. Sugar was 17 at the time, the vet said movement was key and not stall rest.

It's interesting that you're in Canada, T, because I've heard similar things about France. It does seem that vets in this country are very keen to prescribe box rest these days.
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Trinket12

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It's interesting that you're in Canada, T, because I've heard similar things about France. It does seem that vets in this country are very keen to prescribe box rest these days.
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I’d worried how we would do box rest, she was in a paddock with shelter and I didn’t relish the thought of moving her. The vet was very clear he wanted movement for healing and she was allowed some grass turn out too.

The first time I put her saddle back on though she was not happy, I think she’d thought she’d retired 😆
 

TheMule

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It's interesting that you're in Canada, T, because I've heard similar things about France. It does seem that vets in this country are very keen to prescribe box rest these days.
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My vet is great (he's Australian) and was very anti-boxrest for the check injury. Said they need to move, obviously once the acute injury is settled, to get optimal healing. Obviously if they're stupid in the field it might be different, but because mine live out they just don’t bother with crazy field antics!
 

eggs

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My horse did a check ligament spring 2020. l pulled him out of the stable for the farrier and he was lame (this is a horse who is usually sound as a pound) with some localised swelling. Farrier thought it was probably his check ligament so I called my vet. We kept him in overnight and the vet came and scanned him the next day. He was already sound by then - she was happy to confirm that it was 'only' his check ligament as if you are going to have a ligament sprain this is the best one to have. Her advice was to turn him out for 2 weeks as it was now thought that movement aided recovery. After two weeks she rescanned and was happy was us to bring him back into work. He has been sound ever since and back out competing at Inter 1.
 
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Update : got another vet out today, as well as a phone consultation from an expert in the UK, and both agreed with many above that:
A) they don't consider the iodine a good idea
B) She should be in controlled exercise while on box rest with follow up scan after 6 weeks

So I've started walking her in hand (on a lunge with sedative and helmet..) and am hoping that if progress is good enough after 6 weeks I can start sitting up on her and maybe introduce some trot

Thanks everyone for telling me your experiences, much appreciated
 

Birker2020

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Update : got another vet out today, as well as a phone consultation from an expert in the UK, and both agreed with many above that:
A) they don't consider the iodine a good idea
B) She should be in controlled exercise while on box rest with follow up scan after 6 weeks

So I've started walking her in hand (on a lunge with sedative and helmet..) and am hoping that if progress is good enough after 6 weeks I can start sitting up on her and maybe introduce some trot

Thanks everyone for telling me your experiences, much appreciated
From a veterinary paper on the subject:

Controlled exercise is a fundamental and critical component of any rehabilitation program for the equine athlete. The ideal controlled exercise program is designed to complement the normal tissue reparative process after injury. As a general rule, the program starts with complete rest followed by stall rest and short periods of walking. Over time, the intensity of the controlled exercise is gradually and systemically increased until complete healing has occurred. A well-designed, injury-directed, controlled exercise program enhances the healing process.
 
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Mine did hers on the last day hunting in April a couple of years ago. She did hers fairly badly and had an egg sized lump on the side just below her knee. Vet told me to chuck her out in the field for 2 months and then do 10 weeks walking adding 5 mins a week (I thought he meant 5 mins a day so she did a lot more walking to start with than perhaps she should have done!!). Leg was absolutely fine and she was back hunting the following season without an issue.

Guess it might have helped that she was very calm in the field and the ground was harder but was out 24 7 steadily walking it off. She had a big vein/artery on the inside of the leg which never went down which was slightly alarming.
 
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@Trinket12 @SOS @Birker2020 @Moodymare88 I was wondering in your experience rehabbing check ligament injuries, was it OK to do their walk rehab work under the saddle while there was still some heat and swelling (after the initial inflammation period subsides)? I have been walking her in hand but my vet said once I get up to about a half hour of walking per day I could start doing the walk work (on hard ground) under the saddle. I have seen several people saying they did the walk rehab under the saddle but my barn manager said she wouldn't ride while there is still heat or swelling
 

SOS

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@Trinket12 @SOS @Birker2020 @Moodymare88 I was wondering in your experience rehabbing check ligament injuries, was it OK to do their walk rehab work under the saddle while there was still some heat and swelling (after the initial inflammation period subsides)? I have been walking her in hand but my vet said once I get up to about a half hour of walking per day I could start doing the walk work (on hard ground) under the saddle. I have seen several people saying they did the walk rehab under the saddle but my barn manager said she wouldn't ride while there is still heat or swelling
Mine was probably still a little hot/swollen when we first started walking under saddle, hard to remember. It definitely didn’t get worse with exercise. In my eyes there’s not much difference between walking a horse in hand and under saddle with this sort of injury… it’s not particularly dependent on how they hold themselves/exposed to much higher pressure by riding. My horse was also calmer to ride rather than lead so it was “safer” for his leg. Just be careful not to cover too much distance and I would do straight lines only, definitely no soft surface arenas with turning.

FYI my boy did his first big big days hunting since his injury the other week and came home with lovely cold, tight legs. I was so ecstatic I cried!
 

Trinket12

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@Trinket12 @SOS @Birker2020 @Moodymare88 I was wondering in your experience rehabbing check ligament injuries, was it OK to do their walk rehab work under the saddle while there was still some heat and swelling (after the initial inflammation period subsides)? I have been walking her in hand but my vet said once I get up to about a half hour of walking per day I could start doing the walk work (on hard ground) under the saddle. I have seen several people saying they did the walk rehab under the saddle but my barn manager said she wouldn't ride while there is still heat or swelling
Sugar did hers right before COVID started, our barn went into lockdown so she was doing walk in hand rehab for a longer time as we couldn’t ride. But the vet had her on a 6 week plan once we were allowed back to ride. Certain days under saddle for a short amount of time and reassessed at the end of each 6 weeks, there was still heat and I would hose afterwards. Had to keep an eye on the swelling as well. The shockwave therapy definitely played a big part in healing. Looking at the ultrasound before and the end of the treatment was very cool.

She still has a small lump now, but the vet said that’s normal. Can’t feel it at the moment as she has her furry winter legs at the moment 😁
 

Birker2020

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@Trinket12 @SOS @Birker2020 @Moodymare88 I was wondering in your experience rehabbing check ligament injuries, was it OK to do their walk rehab work under the saddle while there was still some heat and swelling (after the initial inflammation period subsides)? I have been walking her in hand but my vet said once I get up to about a half hour of walking per day I could start doing the walk work (on hard ground) under the saddle. I have seen several people saying they did the walk rehab under the saddle but my barn manager said she wouldn't ride while there is still heat or swelling
Again hard to remember but found this post which explains it https://forums.horseandhound.co.uk/...ly-following-a-tendon-ligament-injury.800332/
 
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Mine was probably still a little hot/swollen when we first started walking under saddle, hard to remember. It definitely didn’t get worse with exercise. In my eyes there’s not much difference between walking a horse in hand and under saddle with this sort of injury… it’s not particularly dependent on how they hold themselves/exposed to much higher pressure by riding. My horse was also calmer to ride rather than lead so it was “safer” for his leg. Just be careful not to cover too much distance and I would do straight lines only, definitely no soft surface arenas with turning.

FYI my boy did his first big big days hunting since his injury the other week and came home with lovely cold, tight legs. I was so ecstatic I cried!
Thanks for your feedback, delighted for you!! ☺️
 
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Sugar did hers right before COVID started, our barn went into lockdown so she was doing walk in hand rehab for a longer time as we couldn’t ride. But the vet had her on a 6 week plan once we were allowed back to ride. Certain days under saddle for a short amount of time and reassessed at the end of each 6 weeks, there was still heat and I would hose afterwards. Had to keep an eye on the swelling as well. The shockwave therapy definitely played a big part in healing. Looking at the ultrasound before and the end of the treatment was very cool.

She still has a small lump now, but the vet said that’s normal. Can’t feel it at the moment as she has her furry winter legs at the moment 😁
Thanks a mill for your reply!
 

milliepops

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My vets have always been OK with rehab exercise being ridden once you're past the initial bit but have advised to scale back the duration and re-build up to account for the change. so if we were walking up to 30 mins, it would go back to 15 mins under saddle and then start to build up from there again.
 
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My vets have always been OK with rehab exercise being ridden once you're past the initial bit but have advised to scale back the duration and re-build up to account for the change. so if we were walking up to 30 mins, it would go back to 15 mins under saddle and then start to build up from there again.
Thanks for the advice 😊
 

sjdress

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My horse did a check ligament. I turned her away for 6 months then slowly brought her bs k into work, starting with 15 mins walking and building up. touch wood no problems since and back out competing dressage.
 
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