Specialized Services & Surgeries for Sports Medicine

Specialty Services

  • Our experienced team in the Equine Sports Medicine Service specializes in comprehensive lameness evaluations to diagnose and treat orthopedic and soft tissue injuries in our equine athletes. Whether it is an acute injury or chronic lameness, a complete physical evaluation is performed. Horses are examined in-hand, on the lunge line and under saddle to observe gait abnormalities. The Equine Sports Medicine Complex allows for horses to be evaluated in a safe environment as well as across different surfaces to optimize results. Diagnostic analgesia (nerve/joint blocks) may be performed to further localize the source of the lameness. Once identified, a variety of advanced imaging is available on-site to ensure rapid diagnosis and treatment, all while providing the highest standard of patient care.

  • A pre-purchase exam aims to help prospective buyers determine a horse’s overall health and athletic ability in order to achieve its intended purpose.

  • A compromised upper respiratory tract is often the cause poor performance in our equine athletes. Our board certified clinicians are able to provide comprehensive examinations including resting and dynamic endoscopies in order to properly diagnose and treat conditions involving the upper respiratory system.

  • Our Integrated Podiatry Service combines the skills and expertise of our board-certified veterinarians and those of experienced farriers. We work as a team to diagnose, treat and manage a variety of foot conditions.

    While corrective shoeing is commonly used for conditions that directly affect the hoof, it is also used during the rehabilitation of soft-tissue injuries to correct musculoskeletal abnormalities, as well as for support during post-surgery healing.

    Our Integrated Podiatry Service also plays a vital role in managing conditions such as laminitis, quarter cracks and infection. Additionally, our advanced imaging modalities such as digital radiology, ultrasound, CT and MRI are available to ensure that our patients receive the highest standard of care.

  • Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy also known as Animal Chiropractic provides an additional diagnostic and therapeutic approach to address musculoskeletal issues in equine sports medicine and rehabilitation. During the examination, joints of the axial spine and limbs will be assessed for their passive range of motion. In cases where restricted joint motion is found a specialized therapeutic manipulation can be performed to improve joint mobility and to reduce pain. The aim of this therapy is to restore normal and symmetric joint mobility and improved function.

    VSMT can be useful during rehabilitation especially with neck or back pain, localized or regional joint stiffness, poor performance, and altered gait that is not due to overt lameness. VSMT can be performed by certified veterinarians and depending on the state animal chiropractors.  Dr. Bubeck, certified in VSMT offers evaluations in combination with lameness evaluation as well as an alone standing examination and treatment. In cases where follow-up appointments are necessary they can be either performed here at Tufts Equine Center or with your veterinarian at home.

  • Equine fracture repair carries particular set of challenges not seen in other species, including humans.  Our surgeons, which include AOVET Faculty have the expertise, state of the art instrumentation and advanced imaging in order to repair these serious injuries.

Orthopedic and Respiratory Surgery

  • Arthroscopies are a minimally invasive procedure routinely performed to explore a joint, remove bone or cartilage fragments from within a joint, debride/repair damaged tissue and ligaments, debride bone cysts or eliminate infection from within the synovial cavities. Similarly, tenoscopies or bursoscopies allow for the surgical examination and treatment of structures within the tendon sheaths or bursae, respectively.

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  • Equine fracture repair carries particular set of challenges not seen in other species, including humans.  Our surgeons, which include AOVET Faculty have the expertise, state of the art instrumentation and advanced imaging in order to repair these serious injuries.

  • Arthrodesis (joint fusion) Osteoarthritis and progressive joint degeneration affect all types of horses. When normal function of the joint is no longer possible, arthrodesis or “joint fusion” may be elected. Arthrodesis of a joint is achieved by removing the articular cartilage and stabilizing the joint using implants. This allows for fusion of the bones to occur, reducing mobility of the joint and alleviating the pain associated with joint degeneration. A complete evaluation with one of our highly experienced clinicians will help to determine if this procedure is the best option for your horse.

  • The most common procedure for correcting impinging Dorsal Spinous Processes (Kissing Spines) is an Inter-Spinous Ligament Desmotomy (ISLD). This procedure involves making a small 1-2cm incision next to the affected Dorsal Spinous Processes (DSP). The inter-spinous ligament between the two affected DSPs is cut, relieving the pressure and increasing the space between the DSPs.

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  • Fasciotomies are performed alone or in combination with a neurectomy of the deep branch of the lateral plantar nerve. This is the preferred surgical option for treating proximal suspensory ligament desmitis. The band of fibrous tissue surrounding the suspensory ligament is cut, releasing the pressure on the ligament. This relieves pain and reduces inflammation.

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  • Laryngeal Hemiplegia is a common condition that affects the upper respiratory tract in a horse. When the arytenoid cartilage weakens, it drops down into the airway and obstructs airflow. This is what causes the classic “roaring” noise heard when the horse is working. The most common procedure for treating this condition is a Prosthetic Laryngoplasty, commonly referred to as a “tie back”. An incision is made in the throat latch area, and large sutures are placed on the outside of the arytenoid cartilage to retract it out of the path of airflow.

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  • Dorsal Displacement of the Soft Palate (DDSP) is a condition that affects the upper respiratory tract. Laryngeal advancement more commonly referred to as a “tie forward” is currently considered the gold standard surgical treatment for correcting DDSP. It can often be caused by laryngeal inflammation due to infection, or congenital malformations”. The purpose of a tie forward is to advance the larynx forward, so it sits over the soft palate, decreasing the distance between the epiglottis and the opening of the airway, and forcing the soft palate to stay in the correct position.

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  • Epiglottic entrapment can be a cause of increased respiratory noise and poor performance in the equine athlete. When the epiglottis becomes trapped within the aryepiglottic fold, surgical correction may be required. Our board-certified surgeons preform both resting and dynamic endoscopies to accurately diagnose and treat many upper respiratory conditions.

  • Sinusitis or inflammation of the paranasal sinuses is one of the most common conditions affecting the upper airway in horses. Sinusitis is often secondary to infection which can be caused by a variety of conditions. Using computed tomography (CT), our board-certified surgeons are able to thoroughly evaluate your horse and determine the best treatment options available.

Advanced Diagnostics


  • Extra-corporeal shock wave
  • PRP (Platelet-rich plasma)
  • IRAP (Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein)