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Jul 08, 2011

Animal Kingdom has surgery for fracture


Elkton, MD (Sports Network) - Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom had successful surgery for a left leg fracture last week at University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center. Acclaimed equine surgeon Dr, Dean Richardson performed the procedure for a hairline slab fracture.

"The leg would have healed on its own," explained Richardson. "But by using screws, we will have a more reliable, consistent time schedule for healing and have given the horse his best chance to minimize any arthritis that might occur in the leg had we just let nature do its job."

Richardson, who worked on 2006 Kentucky Derby champ Barbaro, inserted two screws to compress the slab fracture. It is hoped that the colt will be able to return to the races in 2012.

Animal Kingdom is resting at Team Valor International's barn at the Fair Hill Training Center. Plans call for the chestnut colt to begin walking in about two weeks and begin exercising on a water treadmill for 30 days following 60 days of rehabilitation. The colt will return to training after 90 days of inactivity.

Last month, trainer Graham Motion found Animal Kingdom to be lame and X-rays were taken. Veterinarians discovered a small defect in the left hind leg. The slab fracture was discovered when a second set of X-rays were taken.

"Dean said that in the final analysis, the extra hairline meant nothing, but he noted it just to show how important it is to have the use of the scan available, because until these surgeons go in there, nobody knows what they will find for sure," Motion said. "He says he expects no complications from this event."

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