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Infection hits Barbaro's leg; another cast change

July 10, 2006

Dr. Dean Richardson inspects Barbaro's cast. Barbaro has undergone another operation after developing an infection in his injured leg.

Photos: Sabina Louise Pierce/University of Pennsylvania

Bararbo's fight for recovery continued at the weekend, with veterinarians replacing much of the metal "hardware" in the horse's broken off-hind leg.

Late on Saturday, Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery, replaced the plate and many of the screws that had been inserted into Bthe Kentucky Derby winner's injured hind leg on May 21.

"Barbaro had developed some discomfort and a consistently elevated temperature so we believed it was in his best interest to remove the hardware and thoroughly clean the site of the infection," said Dr. Richardson.

"We also applied a longer cast on that leg for additional support."

While the main fracture is healing well, the pastern joint that doctors are attempting to fuse continues to be the area of concern. This joint was stabilized with new implants and a fresh bone graft.

"The recovery process from anesthesia took longer with this surgery, but Barbaro is now back in his stall in the Intensive Care Unit," said Dr. Richardson.

"He is receiving pain medication, antibiotics and other supportive care."

Alex Brown reported today that Barabaro's trainer Michael Matz had visited Barbaro, who was "doing a little better, was brighter, standing on both hind legs, and looking for something to eat."

Barbaro continues to be monitored closely in the Intensive Care Unit of the George D. Widener Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center. Dr. Richardson emphasized that the complications are potentially serious.



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