Friday was the big day. I had been simultaneously anticipating and dreading our next appointment with the vet and seeing what Prair's DDFT actually looked like.
On days when she felt great - the ultrasound couldn't come fast enough to confirm what must
be good healing.
But on those days when she felt less than stellar I was dreading the possibility of seeing angry, disrupted tendons that weren't healing as hoped...
But irrespective of my mental mind games, Friday came, and so did the ultrasound. First my vet looked at her under saddle - Prair was particular hot to trot which made it hard to get (and keep) a steady rhythm, but apparently she looked sound, sound, sound, so we progressed to the ultrasound.
Vets have such a good poker face when they are doing diagnostics... I literally had no idea if she was loving what she saw, or gravely concerned until she was done taking still images and stood up with an assertive "okay, here's the deal."
"She looks great."
|Ready to get back to business|
Basically the ultrasound showed a much
happier DDFT with really nice edges and minimal scarring. Back in July the same view showed quite a bit of fiber disruption and rough edges on almost the entire medial DDFT. Now there's just the tiniest spot of a rough edge and everything else looks beautiful. There are a few flecks of scar tissue, but apparently given the initial strain - it's a minimal amount and not something my vet is worried about in terms of return to full work. All great news.
The disadvantage of doing the ultrasound instead of returning to WSU for a full MRI is that we really can't see what's going on with the navicular - which if you recall, is what we currently believe to be the root issue. But since we think the soft tissue is a direct reflection of her comfort within the navicular.. we're extrapolating that it is also less inflamed and angry.
Right now I'm comfortable making that assumption and think that it outweighs the cost, risk and energy involved with shipping back to the University for an MRI again.. I don't think we'll have to go down that road unless something unexpected happens in the coming months.
In terms of continued rehab, the visual confirmation of healing is what we were waiting for to ramp up the workload again. The balance of the month will be spent on more flatwork and increasing the workload on that left front limb (pole work, extended canter, etc).
Assuming all goes well, we are cleared to return to crossrails in the New Year, then we'll ultrasound one more time in early Feb to ensure that we haven't lost any ground with the increased work.
Prair will keep her reverse shoe on the LF for added support, and we'll add in some Tildren treatments this year to help support the navicular.
For those who haven't used it - Tildren basically impedes bone remodeling. For us this means that we stop the bone's natural response of increasing it's density - which in turn causes it to become more brittle...
So, flatwork until Jan, Crossrails and increased work until Feb. One more ultrasound so see if all is still well, then some Tildren to help support the navicular bone.
All in all about as good of a report as I could hope for.
Now I just have to remember how to ride.....