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Day in the Life of the Equine Sports Medicine Staff
The first patient of the day is Ajax, who arrives bright and early at the Orthopaedic Research Center. Ajax has been undergoing aquatic therapy daily to rehabilitate his stifle.  He has problems with upward fixation of his patellas “locking stifles”, and underwater treadmill exercise helps strengthen his muscles to overcome the locking in an environment that doesn’t cause additional stress on the joint.
Then the ESM truck heads out for appointments, starting with a longstanding patient that recently suffered a severe hind limb suspensory injury. He is on stall rest with hand walking. His lesion was initially treated with shockwave therapy and an injection of bone-marrow derived stem cells. Today, his leg is treated with a regional limb perfusion of stem cells, a new procedure that has been shown clinically to have positive results of healing tissues and decreasing lameness. After four more weeks of hand walking, this patient will start a regimen of increasing work and exercises to promote core strength and balance.
The next stop is a barn with several horses. Cole is a new patient that has been mildly lame for six months, despite joint injections and rest.  Today is his first visit with ESM, and his lameness will be worked up with diagnostic blocks, radiographs, and ultrasound, and he will be examined for compensatory lameness issues to determine if other soreness or pain is contributing to his continued lameness.  Mason has had severe back pain for several years.  The source of the pain was diagnosed with a bone scan, and he has been treated with muscle relaxers, acupuncture, heat, and chiropractic.  Most recently he has responded very well to laser therapy and injections in the painful areas in his back.
The day’s final appointment is with a client and her farrier to take radiographs of Gem’s feet.  Gem has had a negative palmar angle of the coffin bone (usually seen in horses with low heels), which caused a hyperextended coffin joint and pastern joint.  This conformation dramatically increases the pressure of the deep digital flexor tendon on the navicular bone and may result in significant lameness.  Radiographs after the last two shoeing resets show that her angles are improving; she may need only one more set of radiographs to confirm that her foot alignment is returning to normal.

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Colorado State University
Veterinary Teaching Hospital
300 West Drake Road
Fort Collins, Colorado, 80523

​(970) 297-5000

(970) 297-1205

24 hours a day, 7 days a week
(970) 297-5000
Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
(970) 556-3931