In the beginning of 2014, Thoroughbred breeder Chester Bishop had high hopes for his homebred filly Awesomendensome. ‘Awesome’ won her very first race as a two-year-old at Gulfstream Park that May and started in two more races in June and July. Just when her career was beginning to take off, the filly came up lame one day after training.
Dr. Joeseph Zerilli, a well-respected racetrack veterinarian, examined Awesome at the track. He diagnosed her with an apical fracture of the lateral sesamoid bone – a bone at the back of the ankle, which is part of the articulating joint surface and also a crucial component of the suspensory apparatus. His radiograph is pictured with an arrow pointing to the fracture line. The filly was then referred to the expert team at Palm Beach Equine Clinic for surgical management. What could have been a career-ending injury would be treated with a minimally invasive surgery to get the filly back to top athletic performance as soon as possible.
Awesomendensome was received by PBEC staff and her care was overseen by Staff Surgeon Dr. Weston Davis. After surgical planning and the administration of her pre-operative drugs (antibiotics and anti-inflammatories), she was placed under general anesthesia for arthroscopic surgery.
Dr. Davis performed a key-hole type surgery where an 8mm incision is cut for insertion of an arthroscopic camera to explore the joint. This allowed him to identify and visualize the fracture in great detail. The arthroscopic view is shown with a blue arrow identifying the fracture line in the joint. A second 8mm incision was then created to introduce instruments to dissect free the fractured piece of the sesamoid and carefully remove it from the joint. The fragment bed was smoothed and the joint meticulously cleaned. The key-hole incisions were sutured and a sterile bandage was applied before she was recovered from anesthesia.
With a short course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories and a graduated rest and rehabilitation protocol, the patient recovered without complication. Awesome steadily improved and returned to work. On January 1, 2015, she ran her first race following the surgery. By May, she was back in the winner’s circle. Awesome led wire-to-wire to win a $40,000 Allowance Optional Claiming race over five furlongs on the turf at Gulfstream Park.
Owned and bred by Chester Bishop and trained by Luis M. Ramirez, Awesomendensome (Mass Media – Rate Shock, by Indian Ocean) has had nine career starts in Florida with $66,150 in total earnings to date. After winning the first race of her career, and enduring a disappointing setback, the filly has recovered 100% thanks to her advanced level of care at Palm Beach Equine Clinic. She has now finished six starts in 2015 and will race again in July.