Andy Bathe performing arthroscopy

Orthopaedic Surgery

For many years, Rossdales specialist surgeons have been at the forefront of equine orthopaedic surgical innovation and have extensive experience in performing arthroscopy, tenoscopy, fracture repair, and correction of limb deformities in foals. At Rossdales Equine Hospital most surgery involving equine joints and other synovial cavities is now performed using minimally invasive ‘keyhole’ techniques, with horses under general anaesthesia, or standing under sedation and local anaesthetic.

Arthroscopy and tenoscopy are widely used for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes and these techniques are the treatments of choice for management of a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries.

Fractured ulna repaired with plates and screws

Fractured ulna repaired with plates and screws

In the past decade or so, major advances have been made in fracture repair through improvements in anaesthesia, surgical technology and expertise, improving success rates for the repair of some long bone fractures. The use of pre-surgical radiography, CT and intra-surgical real-time fluoroscopic radiography has improved technical preparation and implant placement significantly, while the development of internal fixation techniques (using plates and screws) means that many more fractures in the horse can now be repaired successfully.

Standing Surgery

In 2004, surgeon Richard Payne helped to pioneer fracture repair techniques in the standing sedated horse.  This is now the preferred technique for repair of certain types of fracture in amenable cases.

Dorsal spinous process (DSP) resection for overriding or impinging DSPs ('Kissing spine' surgery) is now frequently carried out in the standing horse.  The advantages of this include increased intra-operative visualisation, decreased intra-operative haemorrhage and avoidance of the inherent risks of general anaesthesia in the equine patient.

These advances in surgical techniques and expertise have helped to improve the prognosis for these patients in helping them to return to athletic performance.

Elective surgery and 24-hour emergency service

Our surgeons welcome referrals for elective surgery and additionally offer a 24-hour emergency service for the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries including tendons, ligaments, fractures, septic joints and wounds. In addition, our clinicians offer a range of novel therapeutic treatments for orthopaedic injuries, which can be incorporated into a rehabilitation programme.

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