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Are OCD lesions in horses treatable?

Yes. OCD lesions are generally treated with surgery. A surgeon will remove the cartilage flap (OCD lesion), scrape away any underlying diseased bone or tissue and then flush the joint to ensure removal of any lingering fragments.

A secondary method of pinning the flap down was studied by researchers at Cornell University. Their study indicated that the “pinning” method has promise. The benefit of this method may produce a more stable joint long term. They are quick to point out that not all horses with OCD lesion will benefit from pinning. According to Dr. said Alan J. Nixon, BVSc, Dipl. ACVS, director of the Comparative Orthopaedic Laboratory at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. L., lesions that are “degenerate and irregularly shaped” are not good candidates for this method.

If a young horse is experiencing OCD but has not yet developed lesions, treatment may consist of changing its diet to slow rapid growth. Learn more: Major Causes of OCD Lesions in Horses

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