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The Practice: +44 (0)1638 782000 The Hospital: +44 (0)1638 782020

Orthopaedics is the largest surgical discipline at NEH and concerns principally joints and bones, with the most common procedures including arthroscopic surgery and fracture repair. We perform approximately 1000 procedures annually under general anaesthesia or standing sedation.

Our orthopaedic surgeons have extensive experience from their collective years working with the high caseload at NEH. They are backed up by a similarly experienced team of veterinary nurses whose knowledge and efficiency in theatre are invaluable to its smooth running. Our anaesthetic team, led by specialists in the field, completes the final critical cog in the team contributing to the success of each and every surgery performed.

Fracture repair

NEH repairs approximately 175 fractures each year. The majority are performed under general anaesthesia, but more simple fractures are repaired standing, under sedation and local anaesthesia. Over the past two decades NEH has refined techniques in fracture repair, with major advances coming from arthroscopic guided repair of fractures involving joints, and CT assisted surgery.

Unique within Europe, NEH runs an in-theatre portable CT unit. Its routine use at NEH has greatly enhanced our understanding of fracture configurations, and contributes to improvements in surgery through CT planning of surgical repair, and CT guided surgery.

Arthroscopic surgery

Arthroscopic surgery is a form of keyhole surgery, used extensively to operate on the joints, tendon sheaths and bursae of the horse. The minimally invasive nature results in minimal patient discomfort, shorter recovery periods and simple post-operative care and rehabilitation programmes.

The first application in the horse was for removal of bone fragments from joints, and this remains a major indication for arthroscopic surgery. Over the years many new applications have been developed, many of these at NEH. Arthroscopic surgery is routinely used for treatment of tendon tears within tendon sheaths and bursae, treatment of wounds involving joints, and to aid accurate reconstruction of articular fractures. Please see the following info sheet and video for more information about arthroscopy

Anaesthesia

We provide the highest standard of anaesthesia, analgesia and intra-operative care in our equine patients. In order to achieve this, we use modern anaesthetic machines and monitoring equipment and the most up to date anaesthetic techniques available. 

Our anaesthesia department is run by a team of four Diplomate Anaesthetists who are specialists in anaesthesia and analgesia and have extensive experience of anaesthetising complex cases. They also provide the training for our intern veterinary surgeons.   

We appreciate that use of general anaesthesia brings concerns to horse owners because of perceived risk. We always try to ensure that our clients have an understanding of the anaesthetic procedures to be performed and the level of inherent risk. 

Our Orthopaedic
Surgery Team

Matt Smith

Matt Smith

Partner

Hospital Lead & Specialist in Surgery

BVetMed Dipl. ECVS DEO MRCVS European and RCVS Specialist in Equine Surgery

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Matt is a 2001 graduate of the Royal Veterinary College. After graduation he completed an internship at Greenwood Ellis and Partners, before returning to the RVC where he undertook his residency in Equine Surgery. He became a Diplomat of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2007, and has been recognised by the RCVS as a specialist in Equine Surgery since 2008. Matt undertook additional studies resulting in passing the RCVS Diploma in Equine Orthopaedics in 2011. His thesis was on clinical applications of endoscopic techniques in orthopaedic surgery.

Since 2006 Matt has worked as a surgeon at Newmarket Equine Hospital, and in 2021 became hospital lead. He is interested in all areas of equine surgery, but with particular emphasis on orthopaedic surgery, and more specifically arthroscopy and fracture repair.

William Barker

William Barker

Partner

Specialist in Surgery

BVSc MVetMed Dipl.ECVS MRCVS

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  • Degree – Liverpool University 2008
  • Internship – Newmarket Equine Hospital, Newmarket. 2008-2010
  • Surgical Residency – Royal Veterinary College, University of London 2010-2013

Will returned to the Newmarket Equine Hospital on completion of his surgical residency to join the referrals team and specialise in equine surgery. In February 2014 Will successfully passed the qualifying examinations of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons, becoming a Diplomate of the college and gaining recognition as a European Specialist in Equine Surgery.

Will has published several papers in peer reviewed scientific journals and presented both nationally and internationally, on subjects including soft tissue injuries to the tarsocrural joint and sinus surgery.

Prior to embarking on his veterinary career Will was a keen event rider, unfortunately Will no longer competes but still finds time to ride.

Matt Chesworth

Matt Chesworth

Associate

Specialist in Surgery

BVM BVS MVetMed Dipl. ECVS MRCVS

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Matt graduated from Nottingham University Veterinary School in 2011. He then undertook an internship before spending 4 years as an ambulatory vet in a busy equine hospital in Yorkshire. Following this, he completed a surgical Residency at the Royal Veterinary College where he developed a keen interest in both soft tissue and orthopaedic surgery. He joined NEH in 2019. In February 2020 Matt successfully passed the qualifying examinations of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons, becoming a Diplomate of the College and a European Specialist in Equine Surgery.

Ian Wright

Ian Wright

Consultant

Specialist in Surgery

MA VetMB DEO Dipl. ECVS Hon.FRCVS

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  • RCVS and European Specialist in Equine Surgery

Ian is a surgeon at Newmarket Equine Hospital. He holds the RCVS Diploma in Equine Orthopaedics and is a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons. He has published over 70 peer reviewed papers in equine surgery and orthopaedics, including a number of new minimally invasive techniques. He is co-author of the 3rd and 4th editions of Diagnostic and Surgical Arthroscopy in the Horse, editor of Fractures in the Horse, has written or co-written a further 13 book chapters and co-edited the first edition of The Equine Manual.  Awards include the Equine Veterinary Journal clinical prize in 1994 and 1999 and the open award in 2013. He has also made over 250 national and international scientific presentations and taught post graduate courses in arthroscopy and fracture management. Recently he co-designed and developed the racecourse fracture support equipment which is being supplied to all British racecourses. In 2016 Ian was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in recognition of his contribution to equine surgery.

Other Services

Our hospital veterinary surgeons are consultants in their field, holding specialist qualifications endorsed with extensive clinical experience.