Our horse is 18 and has had flare ups with this probably his whole life (we've had him 12 years). It has never been as bad as what some of you have experienced. He goes through periods where he'll lock up for a few seconds and then pop it out. Especially if he's not been moving around much, he goes through times when it pops or clicks with a hitch as he walks, but then he trots completely sound. I don't know why sometimes we go months without it happening, and then, like now, it affects him several times a week.
We do exercise and do hills, and that seems to help, but it isn't a perfect solution. I had a talk with the vet again this past week, and he is recommending that we consider estrogen shots (I think it is estrogen anyway, it is a female hormone). Do any of you have experience with this? Did it help?
I think that with a young horse or one that has a serious problem that interferes with quality of life, the surgery is a good option to consider. However, surgery does have risks, and it is expensive, which is why I have never seriously considered it, preferring to manage his mild condition through meticulous foot trimming and exercise. But maybe shots? What do you think?