Yesterday, Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro had his second cast change in six weeks since shattering his right rear leg in the Preakness on May 20.
Dr. Dean Richardson performed the procedure. After removing the cast and taking radiographs of the injury, Richardson discovered two screws were bent. He replaced them and added three new ones across the pastern joint. Barbaro now has 30 screws and a medal plate holding his leg together.
"His radiographs looked great and he had another fine pool recovery," Dr. Richardson said after the procedure that took about two hours.
Dr. Corinne Sweeney, executive director of the George D. Widener School for Large Animals at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, said that by midafternoon Barbaro was back in his stall eating his grain and carrots and enjoying sugar cubes as a treat.
"Dr. Richardson was pleased with what he saw," Sweeney said. "He's continuing to heal, and the bent screws are not a setback. It's why you don't put one or two screws in to hold the stresses. It's no different from you or I healing from a broken leg, walking around, getting up and down. It's normal. And Dr. Richardson simply thought three [additional] screws would work better as a proactive measure."