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Losing some balance after broken ankle

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  • Losing some balance after broken ankle

    I'm crossposting since this affects mostly my jumping, and I don't think as many folks follow the "riders with disabilities" forum. Hope that's okay.

    I broke my ankle (talar dome fracture) last year. It went misdiagnosed for 7 months. Then I had a cast for three and a half months followed by month with an air cast. I'm now cleared to ride and have been slowly getting back to it over the last month. The ankle does not hurt when I ride, but it is stiff. When I am jumping (mostly) I am unbalanced. I end up with more weight in my good ankle and my saddle tends to shift to the right, my good side. I keep having to adjust it back to the left. I'm thinking of trying to lengthen my stirrup on the left and see if that helps. I cannot flex that ankle and may never be able to put a lot of weight in that stirrup. Any thoughts?
    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
    ¯ Oscar Wilde

  • #2
    Get thee to a good physical therapist. I broke mine 2x. Have had multiple surgeries on it. And they just did more scar tissue removal and also re aligned my tibia ankle and foot.

    The biggest thing that made the difference in between all my surgeries was PT. I did TONS of stretches using the big rubber bands with resistance. Building up the strength in it with the bands helped so much. I also would pull the stirrup off of my GOOD side when I was flatting my horses, and then even over small jumps. That forced me to use my bad leg and not rely on my good one. I went back to doing 3'6 jumpers and schooling XC. This summer after I get the go ahead I am hoping to run Training on my one horse and if me and her are fit enough I will be doing the 4' jumpers with her.


    • #3
      How are you at no stirrup work? I broke my foot on summer while in college and just did no stirrups until it healed, and ended up straighter and more even than I had started out instead of more crooked.

      You may need to look at trying to learn not to put your "good" heel down as far and come up with as correct a position as you can which allows the bad leg to work pretty evenly. Lengthening the stirrup may do it for you, but the problem is how it affects your hip joints, contact points of your leg on the horse, etc.

      ETA: I agree on physical therapy!
      If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


      • #4
        Oddly enough, I weight my bad ankle more

        Since during the cast process, they cast my leg in a "heels down" position. It actually flexes more than the "good" one.

        PT to regain the flexibility will help even you out.

        Frankly, depending on the break, expect it to hurt forever. Or at least the next 30 years, that's how long mine has hurt.
        So far.

        Also, shorten the "good" stirrup a hole, it will force you over. I actually have to ride a hole longer on the good side now.


        • #5
          Originally posted by 2ndyrgal View Post
          Since during the cast process, they cast my leg in a "heels down" position. It actually flexes more than the "good" one.

          PT to regain the flexibility will help even you out.

          Frankly, depending on the break, expect it to hurt forever. Or at least the next 30 years, that's how long mine has hurt.
          So far.

          Also, shorten the "good" stirrup a hole, it will force you over. I actually have to ride a hole longer on the good side now.
          Yup. The pain will most likely never go away. But it might lessen. I know mine is always going to hurt.


          • #6
            I third the physical therapy. Depending on your state, you might have "direct access" -- where you don't need a referral for PT. i c&p a pdf link so you can look up your state. http://www.apta.org/uploadedFiles/AP...essbyState.pdf

            Also, talus fractures are just tricky to heal. Aside from seeing physical therapy, you might consider speaking with your PCP about checking your bone health; testing varies depending on your age-- so a vitamin D is standard (25-hydroxy vitamin d is the test), and if you are more mature , a dexa.

            My "professional" e-opinion would be that your experience is one of generalized weakness, some post-casting laxity and a dose of nervousness about using it. Just my 2 cents.
            And the wise, Jack Daniels drinking, slow-truck-driving, veteran TB handler who took "no shit from no hoss Miss L, y'hear," said: "She aint wrapped too tight."


            • #7
              The Herm Sprenger bow balance stirrups help with the stiffness in my ankle, I don't know about your actual balance but if you didn't feel as much pressure on that side it may help.


              • #8
                Physical therapy.

                Apparently injuries to your ankle affect your proprioception, so it's especially important to have good PT when you've had an ankle injury.

                My husband has killed his ankles several times each so I've done a bit of research on the subject (needed to have something to tell him instead of "I told you so!").
                Custom and semi-custom washable wool felt saddle pads!


                • #9
                  PT for the ankle. Also probably worth having your back & hips checked/adjusted by a chiro or PT work. I'm sure you were twisting all sorts of bad ways trying to get around with the cast on your ankle making your whole body uneven.


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks, all. I appreciate your comments. I'll check into PT and also maybe visit the chiro!
                    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                    ¯ Oscar Wilde