Chelokee's Surgery Goes 'Very Well'

Chelokee's Surgery Goes 'Very Well'
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

Chelokee, who dislocated his right front ankle May 2 at Churchill Downs, underwent surgery that “went very well” May 5 at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, according to Dr. Larry Bramlage. He also said that "everything had gone as planned," so far, in the 4-year-old colt’s recovery. In addition, Bramlage upgraded the colt’s chances of survival from 50-50 to 60-40.

“The first two weeks after surgery are the critical period,” the prominent equine surgeon said. “If there is no infection and no problems with the vascular supply during that time, his chances will improve to 80-20.”

Bramlage fused Chelokee’s damaged ankle in a procedure that is known as a fetlock arthrodesis. The colt tore all the ligaments located in the back of the fetlock and that were connected to the pastern joint., said the surgeon, who replaced the main ligament to the pastern joint with polyethylene cord. Chelokee will have to wear a cast on the repaired limb for at least 30 days. The cord will help support the ankle until it has fused.

“He was acting happy this morning (May 6),” Bramlage said. “He's walking well, and he’s made good progress, maybe better than average.”

A son of Cherokee Run, Chelokee was injured during the running of the Alysheba Stakes (gr. III). Owned by Centennial Farms and trained by Michael Matz, the colt captured the Northern Dancer Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill and the Barbaro Stakes at Pimlico last year. Matz conditioned Barbaro, who broke down during the 2006 Preakness after winning the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I).

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