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Experience with for compression fracture @ T12

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  • Experience with for compression fracture @ T12

    I just sustained a mild compression fracture at T12 and am lucky to have no other injuries. I'm wondering if anyone can share their experiences of recovery -- how long until you got back in the saddle, exercises, advice, etc.

    I've read through the other back injury threads I can find with the "search" function, but if anyone has anything new to add, I'd appreciate it. Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by easyrider; Jun. 12, 2011, 01:14 PM. Reason: addn'l info
    The aids are the legs, the hands, the weight of the rider, the whip, the caress, the voice and the use of extraneous circumstances. ~ General Decarpentry

  • #2
    I actually have this exact injury, except by the time my fracture was actually discovered, it had "set" somewhat incorrectly. I was a student at the time I sustained the injury and somewhat blindly trusted the health clinic I went to despite being in intense pain. The clinic did not suggest x-rays and I somewhat ignorantly did not follow-up at the time because I believed they knew what they were doing. I wish I had requested x-rays because I would have had more treatment options at the time; instead, the injury set on its own.
    I don't remember when I got back in the saddle. At the time I was just riding in school, and the fall happened fairly close to the winter break. I was probably back riding in a few weeks, but I was in pretty intense pain for a while. Eventually the injury did set by itself, but I experienced a pretty severe flare up that summer and sought additional treatment (at a different clinic this time!). Apart from pain management, they recommended physical therapy. They were not keen on my continuing to ride, but I continued after another short break that summer. The physical therapy focused on strengthening my core in order to support my back. This is the best thing I can recommend from my own experience - seek out a consultation or research some physical therapy exercises you can do to really build the strength in your core and surrounding back muscles. That was actually what helped me the most.
    Other forms of low impact exercise like walking are good for strengthening, as well, and can really help. If you are currently riding, I would avoid doing any kind of jarring movement like sitting the trot or any kind of jumping work until you are farther along in the healing process.

    It has been about 8 years since my injury and at times I initially found myself wondering if the pain was going to stay with me forever, but I am happy to say it has primarily faded. I do get some nerve tingling every now and then and I cannot stand for long periods of time without getting pretty bad back pain, but otherwise it is okay. Riding wise I am able to do just about anything and be perfectly okay (including sitting trot, etc.).

    I don't know about your particular injury but just wanted to respond since I also have a compression fracture in the T-12 vertebrae. Physical therapy and strengthening exercises, muscle relaxers and pain meds (only initially) and taking it easy on myself in the saddle were the things that helped the most. Now, just being aware of things like I described above (I have a cube job and try to remember to stretch now and then, etc. and I try to sit in chairs that have backs, etc - man I am an old 28 ) is all it takes to manage it.

    Of course I have fallen in the years since but am VERY protective by default of my back. Just be selective in what you ride and don't push yourself too far if you are experiencing pain. Good luck!
    Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

    A Voice Halted


    • #3
      Bones are bones.....they take 8-12 weeks to heal....regardless of whether they are in the arm, leg, or back.
      Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
      Alfred A. Montapert


      • #4
        Compression FX L1, L2 approx 10 years ago when my horse slam-dunked me (it hadn't rained in 8 weeks, so the ground was very, very hard).

        Rest. Rest. Pain meds, rest. Ice for the pain and swelling. Limited standing...was told to sit or lay flat for the majority of the time during the first 3-4 weeks. Doctor normally would have put someone with an injury like mine in a brace but knew I wouldn't wear it.

        I was told no riding or physical activity for 10 weeks. This time I did listen to the doctor. When I got back on to ride, I was stiff, but no pain. Worked on core strengthening etc.

        10 years later I do have arthritis in my lower back and lost 1/2" in height...the actual horseback riding doesn't bother me too much, it's afterwards when I stiffen up that's a real pain. I do 2/3rd level dressge so lots of sitting trot. It just takes time to heal. Remember, bones usually heal fairly quicky...but soft tissue (even bruising) can take much, much longer.
        A poorly fitted saddle hampers both horse and rider.


        • #5
          Got the same last year, mild compression fracture of L1 actually, but still the same region basically. Awful pain in the first days, after 2 weeks the soft tissues were fine. Nevertheless the doctor prescribed me to wear an elastic brace, do a physiotherapy course (which helped A LOT for the back pain) and I did not ride for 2 months. I did not really take any painkillers, but I did take extra calcium, Wobenzym and mumio pills (read somwhere that it helped to foster bone healing). The initial forecast of the doctor was at least 3 months off the horse. Went back with a CT scan in less than 2 months and confirmed that all was healing well, actually better than expected, no collapsing of the vertebra was observed, so I was allowed to get back into saddle, naturally wearing the brace for the first months when riding. First half of the year I had back pain when sleeping on my belly, but now a year after I have virtually no complaints at all.


          • Original Poster

            Thank you all for sharing.
            The aids are the legs, the hands, the weight of the rider, the whip, the caress, the voice and the use of extraneous circumstances. ~ General Decarpentry


            • #7
              I had a compression wedge fracture of t11 and t12 I was in the hospital for 10 days; in a cash brace for 6 months; out of work from august to october and then reintroduced slowly at 20 hours a week w/ addition of 5 hours a month until in April i was back to 40 hours. I was not allowed to ride for 2 years. I was a candidate for surgery based on who you asked - i went for many opinions and consensus was no surgery (injury in 1990). I quit riding for 11 year but I resumed in in 2001 and bought my first horse in 2002 (I decided i had to be safe and have a kind horse). Now if I don't ride I am in more pain. I have suffered one serious fall where I went flying into the wall w/ my whole body - fractured my ankle (fibula) and tore ligamients in elbow but the whole thing was nothing really. Severe fall but i was lucky. My spine has kyphosis due to this i forget the degree but I stay tuned up w/ chiro and accupuncture. Its prob the best place to get a fracture if you had to get one. It is the least flexible area of the spine.


              • #8
                " things take time"

                yes, indeed; one of Col Ljundquists' favorite sayings was ,,,,"things take time " As I get older I understand this better with time
                Last edited by Carol Ames; May. 10, 2015, 08:50 AM. Reason: typos
                breeder of Mercury!

                remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Carol Ames View Post
                  yes, indeed; one of Col Ljundquists' favorite sayings was ,,,,"things take time " As I get older I understand this better with time
                  I hope Easyrider is back in the saddle after 4yrs!!!
                  ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                  Originally posted by LauraKY
                  I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                  HORSING mobile training app


                  • #10
                    I had a bad fall from a horse and altho I didn't hit my head , I felt quite faint afterwards. I had back stiffness and muscle spasms after but no real severe pain. I kept on riding, but most activity that had me bending caused me to 'seize up'. About 6 months later, mentioned the stiffness and spasms to MD and had Xray showing compression fractures T12 L1. By that time , the vertebrae had pretty well fused, I had no symptoms of nerve root damage so I kept on with regular activities! I did wear a brace for gardening or lifting (eg hay bales), but worked on my core and have no problems 5 years later. My bone density is great, just for the record.


                    • #11
                      Compression fx T8 after a fall down some stairs. Back to work in 6 weeks (job involves heavy physical activity). Some arthritis there now, and strangely, the spot over the bone is itchy. Happened 20+ years ago. I am very careful going up and down stairs now.


                      • #12
                        GreyStreet- Are you my twin? Same exact injury, mine 10 years ago. I was in college and the school nurse (what a joke)kept saying "sprained muscles" They kept giving me bigger doses of ibuprofen and muscle relaxers. Did nothing but kill my stomach. By the time I went to see a real doc it was too late to do much. I was a stubborn college kid who was on the EQ team and majoring in Eq studies. if I couldn't ride I couldn't graduate. Riding was 1/2 my classes... so I kinda went along with the sore muscles and suffered until I gradated. Not the best idea looking back. I still have flare ups now and again, and I can't do a lot of sitting trot on bouncy horses.

                        I am 32 weeks pregnant with my second child. First pregnancy was a breeze (no back pain at all!!) up until the epidural/spinal. They couldn't get the needle in (thanks to the compressed vertebrae's). I was stabbed 5 times each and they had to go in really high up. Paralyzed me from the chin down and I panicked during my C-section because I thought I couldn't breathe. Just what I needed after 24 hours of labor. The bruising and swelling from the multiple needle holes was 10x worse then the C-section incision.

                        Now on my current pregnancy...the second is always worse right? This ones a girl and it's been MISERABLE! Constant back pain. Doesn't help when I have to carry my 2 year old around. Back braces help but I am just worried about the C-section/spinal. I have a few appointments with the anesthesiologist/doctor to hopefully answer my questions and work out a game plan. I just hope this will go much smoother since it's planned.

                        Everyone said to work your core to help your back. But with the first C-section I had no ab muscles and I was afraid to use them. After this lil' one is born I plan on trying as much core strengthening as I can... see if that helps.

                        Just keep in mind that if you ever have kids.
                        Proud owner of Belle- 17.2h PerchxTB-wannabe dressage horse & Fayah 14.1H arab-trail horse extroidinaire!