Dropped elbow

Could you explain 'Dropped Elbow'? Our 15 year-old Quarter Horse mare suffered a puncture wound to the right elbow. The vet said she has dropped elbow, I wouldCould you explain 'Dropped Elbow'? Our 15 year-old Quarter Horse mare suffered a puncture wound to the right elbow. The vet said she has dropped elbow, I would

Story originally posted by: Michael Lowder, DVM, MS

Dr, Lowder,

Could you explain ‘Dropped Elbow’? Our 15 year-old Quarter Horse mare suffered a puncture wound to the right elbow. The vet said she has dropped elbow, I would like more info on this. What is her chance of making a full recovery? Up until her injury she was running barrels and other speed events. And is in good health and physical shape.

Thank you for any info on this condition.
Barb

Barb,

A "dropped" elbow is seen when there is swelling and an inability to extend the limb (elbow) by pulling the flexed leg forward. If this is the case, a suspected fracture of the olecranon process is likely.

Be extremely careful when testing the leg via flexion as it can be very painful. Diagnosis is via x-rays and the prognosis depends upon the degree of fracture and how well the horse response to treatment.

Thank You,
Dr. Lowder