Source: Horse Owner Q & A – Ethyl Alcohol Fusion
Can you explain how the fusion is done? How much did it cost? Is it a surgery or just an injection?
Q. How much did this cost?
A. The procedure is very affordable. To have Bailey done at the veterinary hospital, with sedation, and approximately 7 radiographs and veterinary surgical time you can estimate $475. That price does not include veterinary calls before or after.
The process to get the ethyl alcohol into the joint space goes basically like this:
-first numb the area,
-then place a needle into the joint,
-then take a radiograph to be sure it is in the correct position,
-then IF it is in the correct position, dye is injected to be sure it goes in the joint and not outside the joint,
-then if all that is correct, the ethyl alcohol is injected.
These multiple steps prior to injection are crucial because if the ethyl alcohol gets out of the joint it can damage ligaments permanently.
The difference between choosing the ethyl alcohol fusion compared to the surgical fusion was huge for me- both financially and physically. With the ethyl alcohol fusion, other than the needle injected, there is nothing else that effects the outside of the horse for this procedure. There is no exterior first aid through recovery. There is no specific stall rest. Life for the recovering horse, according to what little I could find about this procedure, can be uncomplicated. With the surgical procedure, there is months of stall rest. There is cutting through skin, drilling, inserting screws, plates, stitching and exterior wounds which can lead to infection. There is always the chance the horse won’t even make it through the surgery. Casts are put on and need to be changed. It is quite an ordeal for an average horse owner, although it can have a high success rate. It was certainly not something I could tackle at my barn for her lengthy recovery period from that procedure. Bailey also was a horse who had not been locked in a stall for three years now, and I couldn’t see doing that mentally to her, let alone physically.
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