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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2002
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    Middle of Nowhere VA
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    519

    Default Broken Ankle!! How long???** PICS page 2

    So I came off my baby yesterday. Wasn't a bad fall. We were trotting along behind one of my friends and her horse spooked. I has about a half a second and my guy just jumpped out from under me (it happened that fast one second he was there and the next he was gone). I landed on my feet and felt a pop took a step forward and my ankle just crumpled. My friend called her husband and he came & got me with the truck. So I go to the ER and they tell me it is just a bad sprain so I go home take some drugs and go to bed. I get up this morning and my ankle is 3 time the size it was yesterday and it wsa swollen then. I pack a bag (ice packs ETC) and head to work. When I get to work I get a call from the ER and they say how is the ankle? I say alot worse than it was yesterday! They say that's because it's broken, we made an appt for you with the ortho. She said it was a flake in the joint. So I go to the Dr this afternoon. But I am petrified. Will this mean surgery? How will I be out of commission? Has anyone had this type of injury? How long did it take for you to heal?

    This just really sucks because I had such a great relaxing ride with the baby yesterday and even that spook wasn't too bad. It was just a fluke thing that I came off.
    Last edited by middy; Jul. 21, 2009 at 03:38 PM.
    Member of the Standardbreds with Saddles Clique!
    Sophie 11 yo Iberian Warmblood mare
    Seadog Man 11 yo STB gelding
    Our New Jet 7 yo STB Gelding



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2008
    Posts
    4,266

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by middy View Post
    So I came off my baby yesterday. Wasn't a bad fall. We were trotting along behind one of my friends and her horse spooked. I has about a half a second and my guy just jumpped out from under me (it happened that fast one second he was there and the next he was gone). I landed on my feet and felt a pop took a step forward and my ankle just crumpled. My friend called her husband and he came & got me with the truck. So I go to the ER and they tell me it is just a bad sprain so I go home take some drugs and go to bed. I get up this morning and my ankle is 3 time the size it was yesterday and it wsa swollen then. I pack a bag (ice packs ETC) and head to work. When I get to work I get a call from the ER and they say how is the ankle? I say alot worse than it was yesterday! They say that's because it's broken, we made an appt for you with the ortho. She said it was a flake in the joint. So I go to the Dr this afternoon. But I am petrified. Will this mean surgery? How will I be out of commission? Has anyone had this type of injury? How long did it take for you to heal?

    This just really sucks because I had such a great relaxing ride with the baby yesterday and even that spook wasn't too bad. It was just a fluke thing that I came off.
    I had a nearly broken ankle a year and a half ago, in March. I was not able to walk at all for 3 weeks, then began walking VERY short distances (around the house), and after 6 weeks began riding a bicycle, which was great - exercise but no pressure, and doing rehab exercises. I didn't ride at all until May, walk only. The risk was in dismounting - I had to be careful to land only on my good leg. It was also painful to walk down hill in the pasture to catch the horse. Riding itself was not uncomfortable by then.

    I didn't do trot or canter until mid June because of the pressure on the ankle in posting/two-point. I found riding less horrible than walking, actually. I still have some pain in that ankle sometimes, but mostly due to scarring in the ligaments, not a broken bone.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2008
    Posts
    44

    Default

    I bet they will just give you a cast to keep your ankle still while the bone knits back. If I remember from your other posts your BF has a broken ankle too. Best of luck today and a speedy recovery.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2004
    Location
    Ontario
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    Default

    ouch! I REALLY can relate to that... I broke my ankle on Dec. 27 slipping on a patch of black ice. I was lucky to arrive at the hospital at 1 10 pm, sent for xray right away and on the operating table at 3 pm, home by 8 pm. I had a plate and 6 screws and a plaster cast. The cast stayed on for 6 weeks (no shower !!!), then rehab. It took quite a while to be able to walk w/o crutches and I stopped rehab at the end of April (so almost 8 weeks). I do not ride, but I interact with horses and it took till mid April for me to feel comfortable to go and get a horse out of a field, and then a quiet horse.

    I was doing fine and then on Tuesday last week, I fell again and sprained BOTH ankles. My feet are blue, my ankles are swollen and I can barely walk (I don't have a good foot this time). Nothing is broken this time, but I can't go to the barn (I can drive this time), but walking is painful (esp. first thing in the morning) and s..l..o..w.

    Good luck, take your time and make sure it heals well.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 1999
    Location
    South Coast Plaza
    Posts
    20,359

    Default

    BowBalance irons will be your friend when you go back to riding. Best $200 I ever spent, totally outrageous price but absolutely worth every penny when you've had an ankle injury.
    EDDIE WOULD GO



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2009
    Location
    Apex, NC
    Posts
    677

    Default

    I don't know what "flake" in the ankle means, but I had a trimalleolar fracture on my left ankle/tibia area 3 years ago. Your break doesn't sound as involved though. I will keep my fingers crossed that it isn't.

    I was in a cast/boot for about 2.5-3 months and had to be totally off of it--no weight at all for the first month to month and half. I have known folks who have had lesser breaks and were up and moving within 2 months back to doing more things.

    Hope your recovery is speedy!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2002
    Location
    Middle of Nowhere VA
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    519

    Default

    I am not sure what they are going to do and yes my SO does have a broken ankle (his is much worse than mine 2 plates and screws) & we are now a matched pair, both have right ankles broken. Thank god I have a desk job and can still work because if we were both stuck at home I think we would probably kill each other. Hopefully mine won't need surgery.

    This comes at the worst time as my baby and I are coming along nicely. I guess he will be getting some time off now, which probably won't hurt him too much as he is still butt high and I think he is getting ready to go through another growth spurt. He was just so nice and relaxed (mostly, we did have an incident with the train but he came right back to himself and settled right down after it was gone) yesterday.

    I guess I'm jist feeling sorry for myself right now as the painkillers are wearing off and I can't take anymore for a couple of hours. I will let everyone know what the Dr says later.
    Member of the Standardbreds with Saddles Clique!
    Sophie 11 yo Iberian Warmblood mare
    Seadog Man 11 yo STB gelding
    Our New Jet 7 yo STB Gelding



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2006
    Location
    VA (or MS during the school year)
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    2,497

    Default

    ***This could be very long. Sorry ahead of time for writing a novel.***

    I think surgery will depend on how complicated the break is.

    Last June (08) I came off my gelding at a show- wasn't even a bad fall (except for the fact that I was hanging around his neck trying to get back on before I let go... but once I let go it was a pretty soft landing). I had intense pain in my ankle though soon after I came off. EMT's came over, tried to have me walk, which wasn't happening. Go to the ER, they tell me it's not broken- probably sprained or stretched tendons/ligaments, that I'll walk in a few days. A week later I see an ortho who stil says it's not broken, even though I was still in bad pain and couldn't move it. I saw another ortho a week after that, who I love, and he saw the break right away. I had bone chips that were blocking the joint... so surgery was the only option. I had the surgery a few days later. My OS said that (though it may not sound bad) it was one of the more major ones he's seen- the bone chips were huge. I was in PT for about 3 months and during that time started riding w/o stirrups and eventually with stirrups (though two-point did give me problems, as my ankle would turn in and collapse.).

    My ligaments became really stretched after I got out of the cast, and started snapping which was really painful, so I had surgery in February of 09 to fix that. It was one of the best decisions I've made- I had a lot of pain for a couple days following the surgery, but after that it felt great! I was taking it slow by riding w/o stirrups, so I thought all was well.

    Except I went to Prom less than 2 months after the surgery (STUPID idea), and felt a pop there. I went to PT the next day, told her I had no movement of 3 of my toes, and what happened. She called the OS up and said I'd ruptured the extensor tendons. He didn't believe it... rupture of those tendons are extremely rare. Had an MRI, and while waiting for those results I went to the barn and had a horse knock into me when she decided to jump over a puddle... I felt another pop and sure enough, I ruptured a fourth extensor tendon. He called me on a Friday (he was on vacation too... but he got the MRI results via email) and said I needed surgery asap on Monday. So I had surgery in May for that, and am currently recovering. I'd be in PT right now except for the fact that my incision didn't heal correctly so we've been dealing with that (apparently that happens in 2% of people. Of course... just my luck). I start PT in 2 weeks.

    I've ridden my gelding once since March, and won't be riding at all for awhile, since I'm leaving in a month for school.
    Do LOTS of PT, with someone who does a lot of rehab for sports injuries (I saw a PT a few years ago who didn't really have experience with sports-related injuries and I feel that there is a difference in the training program). Take it slow when you start riding again. If you're comfortable with it, ride w/o stirrups. Thats the only way I was allowed to ride for a little while since my OS and PT didn't want me riding with them yet. Be careful in 2-pt and while jumping. If I'm not careful now, my ankle will start to collapse or turn in and lock up.

    Good Luck! I hope you don't need surgery... if you do, make sure you're comfortable with your OS. If you have questions, ASK them! If you think something is wrong, TELL them! I can't tell you how many times I went to my OS and said "I know there is something wrong..."
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2004
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    Ontario
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    7,743

    Default

    We should have a "never ending foot/ankle injury" clique... I find that more than the pain, the set back of re-injuring is very depressing. When I fell again, I sat on the ground, crying, not hearing the people around me trying to help. This time around, I know I am walking on my heels because that's the only part that does not hurt NOW... It feels like I will ever walk normally again... sigh..
    Be careful and don't rush into things...



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 27, 2007
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    586

    Default

    Echoing the sentiments of everyone.....follow the doctor's orders and go to PT when its time and ask questions and take time to heal. I was young and foolish and a hairline fracture when I was about 13 has turned into a lifetime of nagging near-constant aching in my left ankle and frequent re-injuries.

    Take care of yourself! I know its easy to chalk it up to "its just my ankle!", but it is a pretty important body part, especially to us equestrians.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2002
    Location
    Middle of Nowhere VA
    Posts
    519

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    No I know this injury is a big one. I will not be taking this lightly and will be listening to my Dr. I have a great Sports Medicine Dr that has taken care of me through the years for my knees. I will say this as I was lying on the ground trying not to be sick (I tend to throw up when in extreme pain) I was just thanking god that it wasn't my knee. I have had knee problems ever since I was a teenager and didn't take time out to let them heal after getting hurt riding. I will never do that again. Thank god my SO will be going to PT soon and he is just starting to walk around the house. It would be really bad if both of were on crutches. Plus I have lots of great neighbors who want to help. I will let everyone know what I find out this afternoon.

    Wish me luck
    Member of the Standardbreds with Saddles Clique!
    Sophie 11 yo Iberian Warmblood mare
    Seadog Man 11 yo STB gelding
    Our New Jet 7 yo STB Gelding



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 3, 2004
    Location
    San Francisco
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    I wish you luck. I shattered my ankle a few years ago and it was never casted so I had a very long recovery. It was close to a year before I got back on my good horse but now I am jumping.

    I think I watched every Law and Order there was while I was recovering.
    A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2009
    Location
    the treehouse
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    My broken ankle story is a little more upbeat. I broke and dislocated my right ankle 11/15/94, multiple chips & debris involved. Had surgery that night, got a plate & screws, was in a cast till 12/23, walking with crutches, then a few weeks with a brace, still using crutches. I was able to start riding again the second week of January, nothing very strenuous for the first week or so. First show middle of February. My recovery was pretty uneventful. The hardware is still in place after 15 years, no problems. So I hope yours goes as well!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2008
    Posts
    4,266

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    When you do physical therapy, there are a bunch of specific balancing exercises you should do - standing on one leg, standing on wiggly surfaces, etc. = DO NOT SKIP THEM. Do them with total commitment, because they are one of the most important ways to prevent reinjury.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2008
    Posts
    44

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    Oh Middy, I was hoping you had only sprained. When I broke my knee and tibia I had that same sick feeling too. I am crossing my fingers you do not need to be pinned up. I have sixteen pins and two plates and rode and started jumping again. It took about eight months but riding does not hurt. Let us know and we are thinking of you...



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2006
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,182

    Default

    It sounds as if you might need surgery if there is a flake in the joint, it will probably have to be removed. Without an actual break then you will probably be weight bearing. Hopefully you an get a boot instead of a cast. The longer you go without being able to move your foot, the worse off PT will be. I cracked my ankle (along with both legs) in Feb. and was walking with a boot within 3 weeks and without a boot in 5 weeks, and was riding in about 6. Do all the PT exerises to prevent problems down the road. Good Luck!
    -Lindsey



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2006
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    172

    Default

    I too suffered a trimalleolar fracture, which is a complex fracture. I broke my leg and had surgery at the end of June, one year ago. Was cleared to ride in September, though I think I waited until October when i had regained some strength and flexibility. I remember dropping my right stirrup a hole or 2 to compensate for the initial lack of flexibility in that leg. I would often drop my stirrups as well when my tendons let me know they had had enough stretching and weight bearing.

    Funny that this thread came up. My ankle has most definitely been on my mind lately. I had all of the hardware (14 screws, 2 washers, and a plate) removed a week and a half ago. The stitches came out of my ankle this morning. It will be at least 4 weeks before i'm cleared to ride again.

    I feel your pain.....



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2008
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    3,805

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    much of it depends on you (how fast your bones will knit back) and how bad the break is... I pretty much demolished my ankle - cast up to my hip for 3 months to restrict any possible mobility; then another 3 months w/ cast cut just below my knee; all the time on crutches - no walking cast. This was about 20 years ago and they've made huge progress in terms of casts and mobility. After that another couple of months w/ crutches. I was much younger (and braver) then so I got back in the saddle as soon as possible - probably not quite a year. At that time I wasn't riding nearly as much - probably twice a week. After a month of my instructor yelling at me to "GET YOUR HEEL DOWN" (so nice of the orthopod to set my ankle HEEL UP) that he had to live w/ my ankle for 1 hour twice a week, me 24 hours a day -yelling at me won't make it work...

    I had closed surgery on my ankle - meaning they had to put me to sleep to put my ankle back together again. Supposedly I was lucky - no pins or plates but after my last visit w/ an orthopedic where my x-ray received a "WOW" i was told I should have had plates and pins.. I also didn't receive much in terms of physical therapy.

    So my recommendation - demand physical therapy as soon as you are able - chances are it will be recommended... Adhere to the PT recommendations and exercises...

    Don't rush or push yourself too much - slowly and gradually - the PT will help immensely...

    I second the Sprenger NO BOW stirrups!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    5,388

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    I had a horse stumble and fall to her knees on the landing side of a jump a couple of years ago. I flipped over her head and kicked the ground hard enough to fracture my ankle and break my fibula right below the knee.

    12 weeks later (almost to the day) I rode in my first horseshow back in the 4'3" jumpers. It was a slightly crazy timeline, but I was really pushing to do it because I was also pregnant (found out because of the ankle) and it was the last show I'd be able to show in the bigger jumpers in before being "too pregnant."

    So as far as riding went, I was back in the saddle the day the cast came off (6 weeks post break/surgery) and rode without a left stirrup for 3 weeks. My PT was shocked at how quickly I regained flexibility in my ankle and I attribute that entirely to starting to ride with a stirrup again I rode with my stirrups sparingly for the next few weeks and then headed off to the show. My ankle was gigantic by the end of the day every day, and there was not even a hope to get my leg into my boots (I used a half chap and paddock boot on that leg), but all in all it wasn't bad enough to stop me from competing.

    In terms of total recovery.....it took me a year to feel relatively normal again. I had 4 screws put in my ankle and 2 of them were removed after the horseshow. The other two are still in there and still bother me. But now at 2 years out I can use my ankle normally with only a slight twinge every now and again when I try to stand up from squatting with a little too much torque on the ankle.

    Good luck in your recovery!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2002
    Location
    Middle of Nowhere VA
    Posts
    519

    Default

    Well I have a Non Displaced Fibula Fracture. THe Doctor isn't really worried about the fracture as he is that I have partially torn EVERY ligament in the ankle. I am in a boot (have to sleep in it too) for 6 weeks but after 3 weeks I get a smaller brace to sleep in. I am very bruised (even the bottom of my foot) and extremely swollen. When I asked him THE QUESTION he told me not to ask for now. So I go back in 3 weeks and until then I don't get to do much. He did say that as it felt better that I could start bearing weight as long as I had my boot on.

    I will keep everyone updated on how it goes. For now me and SO have matching boots
    Member of the Standardbreds with Saddles Clique!
    Sophie 11 yo Iberian Warmblood mare
    Seadog Man 11 yo STB gelding
    Our New Jet 7 yo STB Gelding



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