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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Barbaro Update: Richardson Explains Limb Deformity

As supplied today by the University of Pennsylvania:

“The shoe on his right hind foot was further modified as his strength improved,” said Dr. Dean W. Richardson, Chief of Surgery. “We are aware that there is some public concern about his abnormal motion on the right hind limb, however, this is not unexpected. His gait may be abnormal as he learns to adapt to having fusions of two major joints in his lower limb and to the special shoe. In addition, the fracture had some collapse on the medial (inside) part of the pastern region after he developed laminitis on the left hind foot. Although this is visually unattractive, the mechanics of the lower leg are not seriously affected because the pastern and fetlock joints are fused.

“The right hind has healed well enough that we are optimistic about that possibility,” said Dr. Richardson. “However, Barbaro’s left hind foot, which had laminitis, remains a more formidable long-term challenge. The foot must grow much more for him to have a truly successful outcome.”


rather rapid said...

ive been wondering what the farrier's perspective is on the barbaro shoeing; and especially the early shoeing. i've yet to look at it in detail, but, my memory is that put an elevated shoe on the left rear to compensate for limb length differences. The result was a founder of the left rear. i wonder if anyone thinks that this attempt to help the horse might actually have caused the founder. my own experience is you avoid trying to help them in this manner as helping one thing generally will merely open up a different can of worms. i'm surprised there has been so little comment on barbaro's shoeings.

Fran Jurga said...

Hello, "Rather Rapid",

Explicit details and radiographs of Barbaro's left hind foot have not been made public, so it is impossible to comment; even so, it would not be kosher to comment on the case without being on the scene. Perhaps, in the months to come, more aspects of the case history will be available to us. You can be sure that I will publish them here or in Hoofcare & Lameness Journal as soon as that happens. I am sure that every effort was made to protect the horse and that that protocol will continue.