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Bone Splints 101

January 26, 2018 3 min read

On each side of the cannon bone is a long, narrow bone known as the splint bone. The splint bones start at the knee and taper as they descend on either side of the cannon bone. These bones are prone to getting a Bone Splint, which is an inflammatory condition. Young horses between the age of two and three years old are more prone to splints than older horses, but splints can happen at any age. Fun Tip: Millions of years ago, the ancestor of the horse was a five-toed creature. Through time and random change, the original five toes fell as the species grew from rodent to equine. The splint bones are what is left of their original toes! Click >>> here to learn more about the exciting evolution of the horse.

Four types of Splints:

True Splint A sprain or tear of the interosseous ligament. Blind SplintInflammation of the interosseous ligament that results in a fibrous and bony enlargement between two bones, coining its name as “blind” because it may be difficult to spot. PeriostitisInflammation and bony reaction that is caused by superficial trauma to the sheath that covers the splint bone, or the periosteum. Knee Splint Swelling and bony reaction close to the knee that may result in osteoarthritis, compromising the joint’s health.

Causes of Bone Splints:

Direct TraumaAn Interference injury or a kick from another horse may cause splints. Concussion ForcesForces that run from the carpus or tarpus into the splint bones. Working a horse on hard surfaces increases the force, which can cause tearing. OverworkingYoung or unfit horses running at high speeds or in tight circles may cause splints. Bench-kneed Conformation A conformation flaw that causes excessive loading on the medial splint bone, which can lead to splints.

Symptoms:

  1. Signs of pain in the legs
  2. Swelling at the cannon bone
  3. Intermittent lameness
  4. Lameness at trot but not at walk

Prevention:

  1. Provide proper footcare
  2. Prevent obesity with a well-managed diet
  3. Supply proper nutrition and supplements for your horse
  4. Let your horse develop fully before beginning training
  5. Practice Preventative Maintenance (such as BeneFab and Sore No-More)
A horse with a bone splint should have a reduced or zero workload for at least three weeks. If the workload isn’t decreased, the splint bone will continue to receive excess concussion and further the injury. Several days of rest, cold therapy, massages, and NSAIDS will help, but the most important thing is time. When appropriate, incorporating a light exercise routine on soft ground is best to start. Regardless of common practice, always consult your veterinarian for a specific treatment for your case. In addition to that, Benefab by Sore No-More offers wonderful products that will help you not only relieve swelling from bone splints, but also help prevent the injury in the first place. For example, the Smart QuikWraps feature 11-14 magnets, depending on which leg, that target major tendons, ligaments, and joints in the hind and front legs. With a contoured design to evenly distribute pressure on the leg and adjustable straps for the perfect fit, they’re an amazing additional to any rehabilitative or preventative regimen. They help to warm up muscles before riding, stimulate recovery time after riding or injury, and reduce overall pain and stiffness by increasing blood circulation; to learn more about the science, click >>> here! For best results, incorporate Sore No-More’s all-natural Liniment underneath your wraps. Looking for something different for leg maintenance? Check out our Polo Wraps and VersiWraps!


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