Originally, the plan had been to snip the interspinous ligaments (if you want the technical term, it is a "surgical transection, or desmotomy, of the interspinous ligaments) and shave down the overriding dorsal spinal processes. However, once Dr. Garcia performed the desmotomy, the dorsal spinal processes opened up "beautifully" (again, his words not mine) and it was decided that shaving down the bone was not necessary.
|7 Days Post-Surgery|
So, why surgery? When it was presented to me as an option, I didn't even hestiate. I had no reservations whatsoever.
While some horses can be comfortably managed with a combination of correct exercise, injections and medication, Boca is not one of them. In my initial consult with Dr, Garcia, it was very reassuring to hear that he was impressed with the measures Dr. C and I had taken in managing Boca to this point. Dr. Garcia said that if we had not done everything that we had, he would have recommended we try it before opting to have the surgery. That was nice to hear, as it made me feel like I hadn't wasted a year of our lives.
Without surgery, Boca is not capable of having even a low-level career without discomfort. There aren't a lot of options out there for an 11 year old horse that is limited to W/T.
Here is a video of Boca, post-injections, with a pro-ride. Out of 4 different pro-riders, this is the most successful out of the 4. Believe it or not, the others were a lot worse.
In an area of the country where land is at a premium, retiring and supporting an 11 year old horse is not a realistic option for me.
When presented with an option of a minimally invasive surgery, done standing without general anesthesia, one with a 95% success rate that is performed by one of the most experienced surgeons in the country, one that cost only $1,800 and that gives an 11 year old horse the option to have a pain-free, useful low-level career with a loving owner...
well, I'll take it.