Cause: Stress to the joint due to training or conformation.
Treatment: Surgical removal and/or rest, depending on whether chip is attached or detached.
Prognosis: Many bone chips cause soreness and wear away at the cartilage in the joint. Bone chips should be removed as early as possible. If the chip is removed and there is not too much arthritis or cartilage damage, most horses are able to return to some level of rideability.
New Vocations Graduates Who Sustained This Injury While Racing
Race Starts: 1
Last Race: 6/29/11
Date of Injury: 2011
Total Rehab Time: Sustained knee fracture to right front knee w/ subsequent knee chips which were surgically removed and completed his rehab in New Vocations’ program after being donated in the fall of 2011.
Date Adopted: 5/26/12
Current Discipline: Eventing
Comments: Roman Thunder was adopted by a professional trainer who had the previous experience in how to bring him along slowly and correctly in his second career as a low-level eventer after having bone chips removed from his right front knee. He is closely monitored to ensure that the knee remains in good, stable condition. Follow up x-rays revealed that there was very minimal arthritis and most importantly that it wasn’t located in the joint. The vet cleared Roman Thunder for jumping. The horse now thoroughly enjoys his new career in beginner novice eventing, happy to show off his natural jumping talent and bravery in the show ring and on the cross-country course.
Race Starts: 11
Last Race: 5/11/13
Date of Injury: 2012
Total Rehab Time: Knee chips were surgically removed from both knees in early spring 2012 and after being fully rehabbed and cleared by the vet to return to racing, the horse raced three more times in 2013 before being retired due to lack of competitiveness at the upper level racetracks. The horse was subsequently donated to New Vocations a few weeks after running his last race.
Date Adopted: 6/20/13
Current Discipline: Hunter/Jumpers
Comments: Angel’s Tune was cleared by the vet for jumping and competing in any discipline. Due to the horse’s more laid-back attitude and sweepy movement, he was adopted as a Hunter prospect. Angel’s Tune now successfully competes in the Hunter ring always placing in the ribbons and impressing the judges. He and his adopter are also New Vocations Ambassadors and actively promote retired racehorses in second careers at all their events.