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Knee Surgery?? Yes, it's HR.

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  • Knee Surgery?? Yes, it's HR.

    Ok, so here goes... I apologize in advance for this being long. Almost four years ago (when I was sixteen) I was in a car accident that damaged my knee, x-rays were taken and they told me since I was young they opted to not do any type of surgery as the injury was not terribly extensive. However, over the past year or so, my knee has gotten seemingly worse- cracks when I bend it, gets sore/stiff from standing too long, doing lifting, or lots of bending (ie. happens a lot while unloading hay, trotting [posting] for more than five or so minutes, etc). Unfortunately I'm one of those worry-warts, and I'm next to terrified of going to the doctor and weary at the thought of surgery. I am coming to the realization that I really have to do something. I worry about how little I will be able to do, and how long my normal horse activities will be put on a back-burner.

    I have two horses at home, both of which I care for (feed 2x daily, groom, ride, etc). Has anyone had a similar injury and/or knee surgery? How long were your horse activities put on hold? Will heavy riding (cantering, jumping, etc) and farm chores (unloading hay, feed, etc) be comfortable post-recovery? I realize that this is obviously an issue that I will have to consult my physician with, and obviously I need to get it taken care of. I'm just wondering if anyone here has any personal experience or information on what I should be preparing myself for? I know that surgery is probably inevitable and will most likely make things better in the long run, but as I stated previously- I really am a worry-wart :nod:. Soooo, any input?

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Do you know what exactly you did to your knee? I injured my knee a month ago and will tell you about my experience, but of course you may have done somethng very different!

    My knee injury is a sprain caused by an awkward dismount after a lesson. Initially, my knee was very sore and swollen, just barely weight bearing. The doctor prescribed me an anti-inflammatory. At the suggestion of a co-worker, I saw a physiotherapist one week after my injury and have had regular visits (once or twice a week) since then.

    I have pulled the ligament on the outside back of my knee and the muscle that runs across the back of my knee. I also have some inflammation of the cartilage in my knee and will be having an MRI shortly to find out if I have torn the cartilage (would be a small tear if any at all).

    Functionally, I am now walking normally and am able to start some exercise, but have some of the same symptoms you describe. When I stand for long periods of time, my knee gets stiff and swollen. I still have some pain when I try to either straighten or bend my leg fully and get twinges of pain whenever I move in a way that twists my knee rather than moving it straight forward or backward. I was allowed to go back to riding for one week when I seemed to be making good progress but after a weekend of riding two horses each day, my knee was nearly as bad as it had ever been.

    My physiotherapist is not willing to let me start riding again until I have no swelling at all in my knee and less pain when she twists my knee. I am allowed to ride an exercise bike, use an elliptical trainer, and do some leg weights to strengthen my quads.

    I would suggest seeing either a doctor or a physiotherapist for an assessment of your injury. Until you know what the injury is, it is impossible to know what treatment you might need and you risk doing further damage if you just ignore it.

    Sorry, probably not what you wanted to hear!

    Comment


    • #3
      I can't give you any advice on your injury - only assurances that there is, indeed, life after surgery. I know people who have had joints replaced - hips, knees, shoulder, are much much older than you - and are happily running their own farms as well as doing any type of riding they want. Same with folks who have had back surgery. Others have had single or multiple procedures on various injuries and are now happy clams.

      Hope you are 100% soon!
      Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
      Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
      -Rudyard Kipling

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CrazyDog View Post
        Do you know what exactly you did to your knee? I injured my knee a month ago and will tell you about my experience, but of course you may have done somethng very different!

        My knee injury is a sprain caused by an awkward dismount after a lesson. Initially, my knee was very sore and swollen, just barely weight bearing. The doctor prescribed me an anti-inflammatory. At the suggestion of a co-worker, I saw a physiotherapist one week after my injury and have had regular visits (once or twice a week) since then.

        I have pulled the ligament on the outside back of my knee and the muscle that runs across the back of my knee. I also have some inflammation of the cartilage in my knee and will be having an MRI shortly to find out if I have torn the cartilage (would be a small tear if any at all).

        Functionally, I am now walking normally and am able to start some exercise, but have some of the same symptoms you describe. When I stand for long periods of time, my knee gets stiff and swollen. I still have some pain when I try to either straighten or bend my leg fully and get twinges of pain whenever I move in a way that twists my knee rather than moving it straight forward or backward. I was allowed to go back to riding for one week when I seemed to be making good progress but after a weekend of riding two horses each day, my knee was nearly as bad as it had ever been.

        My physiotherapist is not willing to let me start riding again until I have no swelling at all in my knee and less pain when she twists my knee. I am allowed to ride an exercise bike, use an elliptical trainer, and do some leg weights to strengthen my quads.

        I would suggest seeing either a doctor or a physiotherapist for an assessment of your injury. Until you know what the injury is, it is impossible to know what treatment you might need and you risk doing further damage if you just ignore it.

        Sorry, probably not what you wanted to hear!
        Practically the same story here, except that I don't know that I did anything to mine.
        When it swells, every day, some times it is so swollen I can't hardly take my jeans off, they are so tight.

        X-rays didn't show anything, blood work not either, think gout or RH, so it is Aleve an MRI next, for now.

        I also wonder what will happen if I have to get surgery, because someone will have to tend to my horses.

        When my knee is unstable, I practically can't walk on it, until it gets back to supporting me.
        Riding? I can get on from a mounting block, after struggling to bend that left knee.
        Getting off is a little trickier, trying to land on the right leg only.
        Riding doesn't seem to make the situation any better or worse.
        Since my horses are older and polite, I don't have to work too hard when I handle and ride them, mostly keep them legged up and their reining training fresh.
        And they are short, so no getting on a bucket to groom etc.

        Do line up some help now for your horse chores, as sometimes knees have a way to go out without notice and leave you stranded.

        Comment


        • #5
          I had surgery on my ankle last Feb. 12 hours after surgery I was on the tractor moving round bales. Not fun!! I was working at a farm caring for 41 horses and they had to be taken care of. Plastic bags and crutches. Luckily I had my son and a good friend came to help me for a week. After that I was on my own. I was back in the saddle when the scar didn't rub too much on my boot, about 5 weeks post surgery.

          All I can say is set things up in advance, fill big ziplock bags with feed servings for at least a week, place in big tubs in front of stalls. Stack hay within easy reach of stalls etc. Do whatever you can to eliminate as much carrying as you can.

          I would recommend getting whatever surgery you may have to do, done in the winter months as your horses would most likely have more down time anyways. That way they don't lose out on to much training. If you have an area to do it in, you can always free lunge them to help keep them legged up.

          Good Luck and quick recovery!!
          Proud Mama of a BOY rider

          Comment


          • #6
            the physician diagnosis............

            will tell you the extent of your problem.
            Could be a wide range of things so bite the bullet and get an opinion from an orthopod.

            Don't panic, but don't wait too long.

            Regards,
            Medical Mike
            equestrian medical researcher
            www.fitfocusedforward.us

            Comment


            • #7
              There are such a variety of possible issues that it's really hard to give you any sort of idea what to expect w/o a diagnosis.

              I've had each knee done twice. I had MCL, meniscus and patella issues. 3 of the 4 surgeries went very very well and I was back to normal about 4 weeks post op with good PT. My first did not go as well because I had been put in an immobilizer for 2 mos awaiting surgery--bad bad bad bad bad.

              After these surgeries, the crepitus and and daily pain went away. However, I still have some trouble in the cold or after a long ride.

              I suppose it's possible that the crepitus you're experiencing (popping, cracking when moving your knee) could be from some damage to the patella, some floaters (pieces of cartilage that have flaked off and are floating around in the joint), a torn flap of meniscus, etc--and if that's the case, it might be a pretty easy surgery.

              If there's more to it? Could be more involved.

              But the first step is getting evaluated. If I were in your shoes, I'd try to see a sports medicine ortho so that you're being treated as an athlete rather than a sedentary office worker. Your end goals are a little different than the average Joe.

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

              Might be a reason, never an excuse...

              Comment


              • #8
                I've had a ton of knee surgery including a total joint replacement (many years ago, at the age of 20!) Really it is not the end of the world, especially now when there are many minimally invasive options for surgery - with most, you are up and walking around the same day or the following day at the latest.

                There are also lots of other potential treatments that do not require surgery that may be very helpful. I get Synvisc injections once in a while when my knee gets swollen or sore - think hock injections for horses! It helps a LOT and I really have little to no discomfort with them.

                Go to the doctor and find out what you are dealing with. It will be a lot better than worrying about what MIGHT be going on, and then you can make a plan for how you want to proceed.
                **********
                We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                -PaulaEdwina

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've had 3 different surgerys on my knee...all for different things (1 ACL repair, 1 meniscus repair, and one lateral band release and genreal 'clean up' from the first 2) and they were all different. The acl I was out for about a year before things were "RIGHT" again, the meniscus was only a couple months and the LBR I was back walking in a week and riding in 2 months! PM me if you have any questions! I'm the queen of knees!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I had my hip replaced in June and was riding in August, but I am having my right knee replaced with a total after a partial replacement did not work. It is a hard rehab but well worth it. I was pretty much back to normal in 3 to 4 months.

                    I see you are in Boyertown, go to the Rothman Institute, they are really good ortho's. Work with pro teams, I really wish I had gone to them with my partial, they would have done the total and I would not be in the mess I am now.

                    You will need help for at least the first 14 days out of surgery if you get staples. But not knowing what they are going to do, I really can't tell you what to expect.

                    Good Luck
                    L. Bradley
                    www.theoutsidecourse.com Check it out!
                    http://community.webshots.com/album/526735618MJIbKY
                    http://community.webshots.com/album/546407280WGDcVr

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Like all the others have stated, you won't know what kind of layup you will have until you know what type of procedure you are going to have done. Meniscus clean up is pretty standard stuff nowadays, and you will only be off your knee for a couple of days at most. If you have a completely torn ligament, and they need to replace it, then you will be down for longer, and your recovery time is longer.

                      I just had ACL replacement surgery on my right knee 2 weeks and 2 days ago. I went home on crutches, but the first day is great because I had a nerve block and couldn't feel any pain in my knee. But man, the second and third days were pretty tough - but I was able to move around on crutches with the brace on to get to the bathroom, bedroom etc. Within 4-5 days the pain became less, and I was able to walk without crutches on day 6, but not for long periods. I think it took until about day 8 when I could really stand in the brace for longer periods. Now at day 16, I still need the full leg brace to get around, but I am going to physical therapy 2x's a week, and am able to do most things around the house. It does hurt if I sit for longer periods without moving it, and it is still swollen, but overall it is not too bad now. Not driving yet, so I am stuck in the house going stir crazy, but the house is getting a thorough cleaning out, and I will be listing a bunch of unused tack on ebay next week!

                      You should get it done sooner than later if you can swing it. Putting it off isn't going to change what is going to happen eventually, and could potentially make things worse. I tore my ACL in August, and the Doc told me that I didn't absolutely need the surgery to survive - if I wanted to adjust my lifestyle I could skip surgery and just not do things that required twisting my knee, like skiing and riding horses. I opted for the surgery because I can't jump without pain, and I am young enough that surgery is a good option. And I opted to do it the beginning of Nov so I would be mobile for the holidays, and my horse gets the winter off. =)

                      Good luck and I'll send healing thoughts your way!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It REALLY depends on the actual injury and the type of surgery. Are you sure you're even going to need an operation? Many "cracking and hurting" type problems in young women can be handled with physical therapy.

                        I walked out of the hospital after my ACL surgery (not reconstruction, though) and went to work the next day. Didn't ride for 4 weeks but probably could have--it was January, I wasn't in a hurry.
                        Click here before you buy.

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