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Barbaro's shoe modified to help broken leg

January 4, 2007

Dr Richardson leads Barbaro out on December 20.

Photo: Jennifer Rench

Barbaro's right hind shoe has been further modified and replaced as strength in the leg has improved.

"We are aware that there is some public concern about his abnormal motion on the right hind limb, however, this is not unexpected," said Dr. Dean W. Richardson, Chief of Surgery at New Bolton.

"His gait may be abnormal as he learns to adapt to having fusions of two major joints in his lower limb and to the special shoe. In addition, the fracture had some collapse on the medial (inside) part of the pastern region after he developed laminitis on the left hind foot.

"Although this is visually unattractive, the mechanics of the lower leg are not seriously affected because the pastern and fetlock joints are fused.

"Our goal was to give him a leg that would be functional and comfortable enough to live happily.

"The right hind has healed well enough that we are optimistic about that possibility," said Dr. Richardson.

"However, Barbaro's left hind foot, which had laminitis, remains a more formidable long-term challenge. The foot must grow much more for him to have a truly successful outcome."

Barbaro, who has been in the Intensive Care Unit of the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals since his injuries at the Preakness on May 20, is eating well and has a bright eye and happy demeanor, according to his medical team.



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