Surely Awesome Part 3: Surgery


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On Monday in this new excerpt from the book Equine ER, Surely Awesome came to Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Kentucky with a shattered long pastern bone. Today, prominent orthopedic surgeon Dr. Al Ruggles attempts to save the gentle, sorrel-colored mare. 

The next day the mare was anesthetized and taken into surgery lying on her left side. Dr. Al Ruggles made an incision a little less than three inches down Surely Awesome’s fetlock. Using forceps to hold two large pieces of the fracture together at the top of the pastern, Ruggles drilled two bone screws in to join them. Then two other fragments nearby were joined by drilling in a single screw.

With the top of the pastern done, Ruggles headed for the bottom of the bone, which was cracked. Based on X-rays, he placed a drill bit in the approximate location of the crack to mark it. Then he took another set of digital X-rays, available in moments on a monitor in front of him. Using them as a guide, he made two small incisions and drilled two screws through them into the crack. The middle of the bone was in too many pieces to screw together. The goal was to stabilize the top and the bottom of the fracture, so the middle fragments would be aligned as they mended

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