My horse Flamenco is a 8 year old Ibero. One September morning 2008 he was found in his stall in a very critical condition, he had dislocated his right hind leg up in the region of the stifle joint. How it happened remains unknown, it looked like a forced impact but since he was in his stall all night and with nothing visible to the eye that could harm him, it was not possible to determine what exactly had happened to him.
After Flamenco suffered this trauma, the local vet was contacted but he unfortunately wasn’t capable to make a correct diagnose. That became a repeated story that continued for almost three months , after five different vets, and just as many diagnoses, the treatments was non successful and kept his leg inflamed, and locked the joint completely. Flamenco was walking on three legs at this point, and the last limb basically just dragged after him when he walked, it was unbearable to watch.
I got in contact with Dr. Alfaro by the end of November. He later came out to see Flamenco and was very thorough in diagnosing my horse. With radiographs and ultrasound images he rapidly stated that the ligament on the inside of the knee was shortened, and therefore the leg was locked. A surgical procedure with a splitting of the medial patellar ligament was recommended to make the stifle flexible again. At this point I felt no hesitation whether or not to do the operation, after all it seemed like last chance so it was a pretty quick decision to make.
A few days later Dr. Alfaro and his team performed the surgical splitting of the ligament. I was holding Flamenco my self through the whole procedure. It was a little while after the effect of the sedatives started to wear off, that he actually started putting weight on his leg for the first time in 3 months. It was immediately relief to watch him walk again on all four legs, the operation was extremely effective and made an excellent result.
Next day I took him out for his first walk starting the recovery process. This was the biggest surprise yet to come, Flamenco wasn’t even lame! When I say lame I mean hurting when using the injured leg, of course he was swollen due to the surgery, but he was stepping through his leg 100%, putting full weight on it. This moment was something I had hoped for someday would happen, and here it was the very next day. It was truly a miracle to watch my horse walk again, and he was pain free.
Now we can start looking forward, it’s been two weeks since the surgery and. Flamenco is on a scheduled exercise program walking twice a day, which will increase. The inflammation is gone, and he is not even swollen anymore, but he definitely needs to build up muscle mass on his hindquarters. And who knows, maybe I will even be able to ride him again someday. It’s been an amazing experience, from hopeless to hopeful. I’m very thankful to Dr. Alfaro for helping Flamenco, and give him his life back.
Sincerely thank you, Maria and Flamenco.