My last rotation of my summer at New Bolton Center is Large Animal Surgery. I have been simultaneously looking forward to and dreading this rotation for the past 8 weeks.
I am fortunate enough that going into this rotation, I already had a relatively comfortable feel for the general way things work at the hospital. I knew that having some knowledge of the hospital procedures would allow me to better focus on the rotation and patients.
On my first day, I was able to help induce two horses for surgery and watch both of the extremely interesting procedures.
The first case I saw was a hindlimb condylar fracture. Since I used to work for an equine surgeon who specialized in equine orthopedics, I was relatively familiar with this kind of injury and felt somewhat knowledgeable about the subject. As is often the case though, I was immediately reminded how much more there is to know about a surgery than just having seen one before. The surgeon on the case talked about the horse’s previous injuries and enlightened both me and the fourth-year student assigned to the case about pretty much every aspect concerning what goes into fixing a fracture of that nature.
Standing in that surgery, I was able to witness both the use of CT and fluoroscopy to aid the visualization of the lesion. I had never seen CT or fluoroscopy used before, even at the practice where I used to work. It was fascinating watching the surgeon attempt to fix the fracture under fluoroscopy in real-time. Watching this surgery further strengthened my love of both equine orthopedics and the diversity of imaging modalities. It was an amazing first day for me on surgery!