Horses with ataxia (wobbler syndrome) damage to the spinal cord caused by pressure from a bulging intervertebral disc or from the vertebral body itself. The affected area is determined by means of radiography and a CT scan with contrast (myelography). Once an accurate diagnosis has been made, some of these horses can be treated surgically. The pressure at the level of the spinal cord is reduced and the affected joint is fused by means of a stainless steel prosthesis (arthrodesis).
Dr. Tom Mariën is one of the few surgeons in the world to perform this operation routinely.