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Knee surgery and riding.

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  • Knee surgery and riding.

    It looks as though my bulletproof powers as a teenager were a sham. The times I screwed my knee up really DID hurt. They just waited until I was in my 40s and well insured. Now, I'm likely going to have knee surgery to repair cartilage damage. Wont know how extensive until next week, but they think it will be a simple scope procedure to trim off the offending cartilage. they said it wouldn't require rehab and all that, which makes me happy. Thankfully, the surgeon's daughter rides, so he "gets" our sport.

    For those who have come before me, how long did your recovery take to start light riding again? Return to real work?
    A proud friend of bar.ka.

  • #2
    I had my ACL reconstructed and a torn meniscus trimmed at the end of July. I wasn't allowed to ride for about 6 weeks, but that much time was for the ACL. You'd probably be back on a horse in a few weeks and able to ride as tolerated.
    Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
    Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
    VW sucks.


    • #3
      I'm two years post having a torn meniscus cleaned up, and it's doing well. My knees hurt - but they're also arthritic. The surgery itself has not presented any long term effects and god knows I'm more comfortable. The torn meniscus was agonizing.
      Don't wrassle with a hog. You just get dirty, and the hog likes it.

      Collecting Thoroughbreds - tales of a re-rider and some TBs


      • #4
        I had a meniscus surgery done and was back on a horse in a week. I rode with longer stirrups and only walked at first but it wasn't long before I was back to my usual riding. I had an ACL reconstruction a few years later and that took considerably longer to recover from. I think I was out of the saddle for about 4 weeks. It helped that I had a calm horse to ride at first. I probably wouldn't have risked it on my other horses which are a bit more unpredictable.
        Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.


        • #5
          Arthroscopic surgery --- should be back to pretty much full use in about 2-4 weeks. You'll know when it feels "right" to ride. The more invasive the surgery, i.e. ACL, knee replacements, etc., the more PT and rehab and longer until you ride again.


          • #6
            A few years ago, my 62 lb. German Shepard was goofing off and spun into the outside of my left knee. I walked/tried to ride with it for 4 months, before I finally gave up and went to see an Ortho doc. My dog had fractured my knee, which created a bone spur and cartilage damage. The repair was done with minimal invasion.

            After the surgery, I was off riding for about 4 weeks. I was very diligent about keeping up with PT after the surgery. If you follow the re-hab program, you will do really well. My knee was great, until another 70 lb. Australian Shepard smashed into the same knee, same place about a year ago.

            I am back in PT, riding in a knee brace and taking Alleve, with possibly another surgery on the same knee in my future.

            What are the odds of the same thing happening twice?
            When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!


            • #7
              If you end up doing a simple scope and they just shave the back of your patella or remove some floater cartilage and there are no complications, you'll probably feel good enough to ride in 4 weeks.

              That said, I personally would insist on PT. My first MCL/meniscus was a total cluster and it took nearly 9 mos to get back to "normal". (I rode, but my injury was soccer related) They didn't really send me home with anything more than some at home exercises--which are great if you know how to do them CORRECTLY but not so great when you don't.

              My last 3 similar surgeries had me back up and to pretty close to normal in 4 weeks. (I've now had both knees done twice) I did PT several times per week and was back to hiking, running, riding, etc.

              I will say that now, even many years later, I still have to take anti inflammatories and/or ice after serious activity.

              Good luck!
              A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

              Might be a reason, never an excuse...


              • Original Poster

                Thanks. That makes me feel better. Between work schedule (I'm a summer school prinicpal this year again) and shows, I will hopefully be able to schedule it in July so that I won't have to miss work and it will fall during a lull in the show season around here. It's too darn hot to ride in July anyhow! They didn't think there would be any long-term rehab kind of stuff, unless the MRI really surprises them. I don't think it will.
                A proud friend of bar.ka.


                • #9
                  Hunter Mom, the MRI may not have the full story. Mine showed the torn ACL, but we didn't know about the torn meniscus until the surgeon was in there. Depending on what they actually find when they do surgery, your prognosis might change a bit. Just something to keep in mind.

                  Auburn, that sucks, but it's also kind of funny! What are the odds???
                  Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
                  Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
                  VW sucks.


                  • #10
                    Good luck with your surgery Hunter Mom - follow your doctor's instructions and re-hab plan, and I am sure you will be good as new in no time. And you're right - if you have to miss a month or so of riding, July and August aren't bad months to miss with the heat!
                    Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson


                    • #11
                      I had a less than thrilling experience.

                      Torn meniscus from sand volleyball. Finally got it looked at via MRI 2 years after the injury. Developed a staph infection after routine surgery in the hospital (Not MRSA). Had 2 more knee surgeries to clean out the staph infection, a week in the hospital, 3 months at home on anti-biotics via central line, and returned to my office on crutches.

                      My sister moved in with me for the first 7 weeks - thank God for family! Had to use a walker to get from my bed to the bathroom, or anywhere around the house. Had to use the Senior bus to get from my house to PT after my sister left. Was on too many pain drugs to drive safely.

                      First surgery in April, rode my horse for the first time in late August. No stirrups, at a walk, with tears in my eyes cause my knee hurt.

                      3 years later, I now ride, jump, compete (Eventing).

                      My advice - go to rehab and push through the PT!! It will get you back to walking, riding, whatever is important to you that much faster!


                      • #12
                        Insist on the PT! My first meniscus surgery just had the home exercises, and I never got the full range of motion back. Three years later, I wound up having meniscus surgery again. This time I requested the PT (surgeon didn't bring it up), and it really made a big difference. Good luck!


                        • #13
                          Is your surgeon a sports medicine ortho? That's important, in my experience. Doctor who did my knee was team physician for the Orioles and Hopkins lacrosse teams. I did 9 months of PT total for torn meniscus, replacement ACL and a couple of torn calf muscles. Three months of PT before surgery, 6 months after.


                          • #14
                            I tore my MCL, had a large bucket handle tear, flipped fragment and some junk floating around in my knee. MCL had enough left that they left it and just cleaned up the rest. Surgery on Monday and riding (carefully) by Friday. I did not make the time for PT. It is fine now (almost 2 years later) but takes a bit more work to get fit than the other knee. It took a few months for the full range of motion to return but that is probably because I skipped the PT.
                            "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."


                            • Original Poster

                              You guys are really making me feel better now.

                              On a totally different note, the MRI yesterday was divine. How often does one HAVE to lay in a totally quiet room, all alone, with no one bugging them for anything for a half an hour. Heck - I fell asleep! Hoping they got good pictures, too.
                              A proud friend of bar.ka.


                              • #16
                                I loved and fell asleep in my MRI as well!! That rhythmical thumping noise is so soothing!!
                                "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."


                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by sisu27 View Post
                                  I loved and fell asleep in my MRI as well!! That rhythmical thumping noise is so soothing!!
                                  I know! Too bad I couldn't control the subtle vibrations. Just a little right, please! Let's work a massage into this and I'll be a VERY happy girl.
                                  A proud friend of bar.ka.