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Experiences w/ Suspensory Rehab

Can I join the suspensory rehab party?

Just got back from U/S appt. Microtears, remodeling, scar tissue in origin AND both branches of RH. Some lesser issues in the LH. Diameter of RH was 1.8, the LH was 1.3. The upside is no big, massive tear, plus evidence of some previously healed minor tears and healing on the current ones. Starting with 20 min HW with recheck in 30 days.


Yes, welcome to our crappy club. :rofl:

Despite the scary language of what was found, it sounds like your vet is pretty confident to jumpstart things so fingers crossed for a boring but successful 30 days!

Well, horsey has been off work for almost 4 weeks already with only 5-10 min hand walks, Theraplate sessions and icing, and two weeks of very light riding before that. I’ve been treating him as if it was suspensory until we could confirm.

Here’s to a boring month!

Was your horse lame? Was there any swelling ? How did you suspect it was suspensory ? I had once one that had suspensory branch injury and no swelling AT all

Minimal, intermittent transitory swelling without heat that resolved with work - RH only.

No obvious lameness, but some resistance to going downhill and unevenness in tracking up at trot, particularly noticeable when asking for more collection.
It has mostly been a process of careful observation and ruling out other issues.

It seems to be a common thread in suspensory injuries that swelling and heat are the exception, rather than the rule.

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Just got home from recheck ultrasound. Vet is extremely pleased, said she doesn’t often get to see the sort of quality fiber pattern and healing that she saw today. I’m thrilled, to say the least.

We were backed off to 15mins of trot since she needs her hocks done and was ouchy, did those today. Going to get up to 30 minutes and then I’ll get to feel her canter again.

Wishing good rehab juju to all my fellow club members!



Great news! Congratulations!
My mare’s RF suspensory got a clean bill back in July, but hocks and left hind fetlock, along with general lack of fitness set us back, but last night we had a 30 minute flat “lesson” including canter for the first time since February! We both were tired and sweaty by the end, but maresy was so happy and so was I! There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Fingers crossed for all of you still in the “suspensory rehab tunnel’”! (and gosh I hope my girl stays sound-- I’ve missed riding her so, so much!)


Woo hoo, I can’t wait for that feeling! That’s where we are - healing wise she might be “ready”, but we’re prioritizing her fitness and getting her hocks comfortable before we ask for too much.

I know not directed at me but I’ll share mine. Bad tear medial branch of rear suspensory, some tearing of lateral, plus avulsion fracture. I watched it happen, he was 5/5 immediately and I just stood there to see what he would do, he caught the toe sliding to a stop while playing in the field and then stood there holding his leg up like a dog hiking its leg. He crippled over the gate for sympathy pets at a solid 4+/5, barely weight bearing at all, then walked off surprisingly normally but I had still had a bad feeling about it. I’d say 1/5, sometimes to a 3/5 out of the next two days, I left him in and called the vet on day three when I went to take him out, after being left in and looking better, and he was dragging the toe and had a funny sort of lumpy swelling. US was day… 6? 5? I think 5, I got in surprisingly fast.

I suspected suspensory. I did not expect the fracture.

Here is a video of how he was at his worse, I had to comb through my videos to find one this bad to send to my vet. Also a picture of the weird swelling. Please don’t mind the poop, this was early morning before I made it out for feeding and mucking.

And here are his USs she sent me. She knows I will 10/10 see a human baby looking at any US so she circled what she was talking about :laughing:

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Well I figured I’d update, Rory had his ultrasound check up today and he is doing GREAT! He is cleared for more outside time and can even trot or canter/buck if he wants (he was doing it without permission before :laughing:), but going big-out is a no go because we are so dry (dry grass) and he absolutely cannot slip right now so extended handwalking up to 60 min* and he can even be turned loose in my arena. So we are going to extend his regular run a bit. I offered dividing the 1/3 acre dry lot on the other side of the barn but he is…speshul… And she is aware that he doesnt handle change so wants him to get more room where he is now. He has adhesions higher up and we need to break them up.

Anyway, it’s super news.

*does anyone know if Audible will stay on/playing with the screen off? I can listen to audio books while walking him as long as I can turn off the screen and stuck it in my pocket because ooof… 60 minutes?


Would love to know if anyone has used a bemer system to help with suspensory rehab?

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I have used one on a strained sesamoid ligament. The horse was sound in two weeks. He actually was non weight bearing….I thought he broke something. Our vet came immediately to care for him. Did the Bemer help? Personally I think so. I use it almost daily on my horse’s body. I hope this is helpful somehow.

I thought about it but ultimately didn’t. After a discussion with my vet, who emphasized how deep in the leg the suspensory is, it didn’t seem likely that the PEMF would penetrate deeply enough to have any impact whatsoever. Now, is there benefit to be had from applying PEMF to surrounding tissue? Sure, and that could have a downstream beneficial impact on the suspensories. But at the BEMER price point, I chose to skip it.

Call me crazy but I was under the impression you weren’t supposed to PEMF soft tissue injuries? I don’t have anything to back that up except for currently rehabbing a suspensory and had easy access to PEMF but my research said it’s counter-indicated. I’ll try to find that info I had about it


Oh yeah I’d be interested in reading what you found! The PEMF/Bemer thing around my neck of the woods is like Mary Kay of the horse world right now.

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AWESOME news! As for this, I’m not sure about Audible but I’d have to think it continues playing without the screen on as that’s the whole purpose - you’re listening because you’re doing something else! If for some reason it doesn’t, most apps for podcasts (Spotify, Podcast Addict, etc) function while the screen is off. Podcasts saved me through this process!

Also, as far as secondary therapy, for what it’s worth my vet said she hadn’t in her experience noticed a difference with anything but shockwave. Sometimes for very bad tears she liked biologics but otherwise said she wouldn’t spend money on anything extra. Just investing your time.


I did a Google and figured out I had to turn on background permissions. I knew it wouldn’t before but I had disabled background permissions in pretty much all apps out of habit to save battery or whatever, so I turned that back on and now I can listen while walking the horse, who I swear sees those headphone cords as a challenging grab toy :laughing:

So, nothing immediately popping up - but I’m at work and can’t dig through research sites easily. All that’s popping up on google is from PEMF manufacturers claiming it’ll cure cancer, end world hunger, and turn your feedlot rescue into American Pharaoh :laughing:. I’ll come back with links if I can find them later.

If anything, my vet told me the shockwave and surgery are only things they’ve seen make a measurable difference in healing. And time and careful exercise, of course. Anything else is just to make owners feel like they’re “doing something” to help. (I am ‘owners’ and ‘owners’ are me :sweat_smile:).

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I have one for my own horse….I am not a bemer distributor nor do I have any interest in becoming one. It has helped my horse quite a bit. I was spending a lot of money on body work and chiro when I stumbled on the bemer. It has a 30 day guarantee so I tried it. I no longer use a chiropractor or a body worker; it’s more than paid for itself. I agree…some of them are like Mary Kay. Makes me crazy and does the blanket no good.

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