ridecamp@endurance.net: RE: TENS


Mike Sofen (miksof7@gte.net)
Wed, 10 Dec 1997 04:40:05 -0800

While I agree in principle with your message, remember that every horse =
and every situation is different. In my case, this is an ex-racehorse =
that was retired when a mild, non-bow tendon injury occured 2 years ago. =
At that time, the horse was treated normally - confinement, then =
pasture rest for a year. The horse was then re-certified for racing but =
never re-raced.

The re-injury appears to have occured in a trailer loading episode. The =
vet that did the ultrasound is not a leg specialist and there was =
evidence of a lesion, but she could not tell if it was a new one or a =
pre-existing one. I called the former owner and eventually got the =
ultrasound photo from the original injury and it appeared to be in an =
identical position.

It appears from all of the evidence at hand that an adhesion (scar =
tissue) inside the tendon broke loose and caused the swelling and =
tenderness. Since the lesion that showed up on the ultrasound appeared =
to be from the original injury, it explains why his recovery was much =
better than expected. Based on everything I've read and experts that =
I've talked to (including Tom), this adhesion breaking loose is actually =
a good thing and something that should have occured a long time ago in =
the healing process from the original injury. =20

This winter I'm getting english riding lessons to better balance my =
riding style on a horse with big movements. My instructor watches this =
horse like a hawk for any signs of offness. =20

And remember this - I've taken a horse whose career was essentially over =
and am turning him into a valuable long distance mount. This horse =
receives unlimited vet care, the best possible feed, and a great living =
environment. I accepted the fact that I might have leg problems with =
the horse when I bought him. He also got BC in his first event and the =
vet said his tendon looked BETTER at the end of the race than at the =

Mike Sofen
Seattle, WA

-----Original Message-----
From: Steph Teeter [SMTP:step@fsr.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 1997 1:36 PM
To: 'Tivers'; miksof7@gte.net
Cc: ridecamp@endurance.net
Subject: RE: TENS

I guess this is a sort point for me. I see so many good horses that
are brought back from injury too soon - again and again - and end
up being sold because they just 'don't hold up'. I think most of these
were never given an adequate healing/rehabilitation period because
the rider either didn't know any better, or was too anxious to get
back to competition. This is certainly one case where it's better
to err on the side of caution. It's not as if these animals only have
a short competetive window (as is the case with track racing) which
gives a sense of urgency to putting them back to work .. and
some of the best endurance horses are at their prime well into=20
their teens. Light work as part of the rehabilition process - yes, I
can see that. But hard work, and return to competion - be patient!


-----Original Message-----
From: Tivers [SMTP:Tivers@aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 1997 12:20 PM
To: step@fsr.com; miksof7@gte.net
Cc: ridecamp@endurance.net
Subject: Re: TENS

In a message dated 97-12-09 14:50:12 EST, step@fsr.com writes:

<< [Steph Teeter] =20
This just seems plain foolish to me. Did you get a followup ultrasound? =
there are
still lesions in the tendon fibers, there's a good chance of re-injury. =
the horse is going sound, doesn't mean that the tendon has healed. =
fibers simply don't repair/regenerate that quickly.
Steph >>

I recommended that, as soon as the muscle stimulation via TENS brought =
heat and swelling down, that rehabilitative exercise be undertaken. I
recommended that any sign of adverse reaction to the exercise would be =
for backing up and taking a hard look. Thus far, this hasn't occurred =
and the rehabilitative exercise is providing benefit without further =
This is standard practice in human medicine--imaging is not a continuing
sidelight of these treatments because it is so expensive. Before going =
hard work, though, another ultrasound scan would be appropriate.


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