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Sensitive Question - How Long Am I Out of the Saddle?

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  • Sensitive Question - How Long Am I Out of the Saddle?

    So, due to a tragic comedy of errors I suffered a rather embarassing injury.

    I had a 4cm labial tear stitched up on Friday. 7 stitches. Probably one of the most painful injuries I've ever had to deal with. I'm sore, swollen, bruised and I would really, really like to pee without crying.

    Due to the holiday, I haven't been able to see my Ob/Gyn and the Dr. at the ER really didn't give much aftercare. It was her first experience stitching up this area. I'm assuming riding is out of the question for a while. She did say that the stitches would be in for 4-6 weeks (they're dissolvable).

    I'm kind of p-o'd because I just went out and bought all sorts of winter riding gear and now, seems like I'm out of commission for the majority of the season.

    So, can anyone offer any insight and experience in this area? Possibly someone who's had a labiaplasty that can comment on the stitches in such a nether-region... How long were you out of the saddle? How long was your routine changed? I'm pretty sure going to the gym is out - I can't imagine running while the stitches are still in. My Ob/Gyn isn't "horsey" so I don't know that she'll have a lot to say about horse specific activities.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    OK this is kind of a personal question but how on earth did you do that? There was a thread recently where some people mentioned a similar injury cased while sliding off their horse and getting hung up on a stirrup or some such thing.

    I just would like to say that I'm pretty sure I'd rather ride with broken ribs!


    • Original Poster

      Without going into a whole lot of detail we'll just say winter storm, ice and shovel. Mix in slipping and falling with a healthy dose of OUCH.


      • #4
        Ouch!! No advice here but sheesh be careful with that deadly combination.


        • #5
          Lots of two-point in your future?

          Otherwise, just "ouch"; some consolation in that sensitive tissue seems to heal fast?
          "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

          Spay and neuter. Please.


          • #6
            *crosses legs* Ouch! You poor thing!

            I'm sure your OB/GYN will be able to give you specifics, but I had a client who had full surgery and the doc said 4-6 weeks. Genitals heal pretty quickly compared to other body parts. I'd hope that yours would be shorter since less involved?

            Dunno if the over-the-counter stuff to stop urination pain from UTIs would be any help to you (I don't know the mechanism by which it works), but it might be worth asking.

            Good luck!


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by citydog View Post
              Dunno if the over-the-counter stuff to stop urination pain from UTIs would be any help to you (I don't know the mechanism by which it works), but it might be worth asking.
              No, it's more of salt in the wound sort of pain. Urine is full of salts and it's just kind of like flushing the wound with salt water. Intense, breathtaking buring pain. The dr. said that it will get better as the wound closes, but still... It's a dual edge sword - I need to hydrate to heal, but to hydrate means peeing. There's no good choice here. The UTI meds won't reduce the salt content unfortunately.


              • #8

                Not exactly the same thing but tears sustained in childbirth (same area but not quite the same directionality for lack of better wording if i understand your injury right) usually heal about 90% in the first 6 weeks according to my obgyn. That means 10% is not healed and if my experience after delivering my daughter is any indication, those 10% still hurt plenty.

                My stitches were supposed to stay in for 4-6 weeks too, and were also supposed to dissolve, but I think it was about 3 months before I could sit comfortably enough to even think of getting in the saddle.

                YMMV, of course.

                Edited to add: you could probably use one of those flush bottles they give to new moms in hospital. Doesn't take the pain away WHILE you are peeing but stops the burning afterwards.


                • #9
                  I wonder...bareback pad? Might help when you first get back to the saddle, more cushiony? And - just an idea? - maybe wear a depends or something also to cushion. You want to start out slow?
                  a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


                  • #10
                    Ouch! Definitely wait until you can pee comfortably - don't want to exacerbate things. When you do get back on what about using one of those sheepskin saddle covers? Extra cushioning should help, they look warm too.


                    • #11
                      If you can, ask your Dr. for lydocaine. It is a gel that numbs the area. It will make urinating more comfortable. :-) Feel better!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Snowflake View Post
                        There's no good choice here. The UTI meds won't reduce the salt content unfortunately.
                        Right, but do the UTI meds introduce some sort of numbing agent into the urine that affects the tissue it contacts? Like I said, I don't know the mechanism by which it works. But yeah, lydocaine might be a good idea.

                        In any case, hydrating will make you pee more, but will give you a weaker concentration of irritating salts.

                        Order a sheepskin seatsaver now.


                        • #13
                          Witchhazel pads will help with the stinging and inflammation.
                          "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

                          "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x


                          • #14
                            This is much akin to an episiotomy after childbirth. Ice for the first 24 hours. Do people still do sitz baths anymore?

                            I would imagine that you will be feeling much better in a week. The stitches start to soften up rather quickly. They will be completely gone in 6 weeks or so. Some people hold them longer.

                            Good Luck. I hope you start feeling better quickly. It will heal quickly. First few days are heck.

                            Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

                            Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!


                            • #15
                              Padded bike shorts? Plus sheepskin seat covers, plus lidocaine, etc. The peri-bottle idea is a good one, particularly ifn you can manage to pee while squirting some water on the area simultaneously.

                              For all I know, you might benefit from the spray on type bandage to keep the pee from stinging--but I'd definitely ask a medical person first about that.

                              It might not be good for your equitation but a temporary chair seat might help some, too.


                              • #16
                                check your PMs
                                "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


                                • #17
                                  My treatment for anal cancer left me feeling as though I was $h!tting out a cross between a jagged glass pineapple and a backwards porcupine multiple times a day for about 8 weeks straight. I screamed into a towel.

                                  I had a prescription for 2% Lidocaine Viscous. It worked great to dull that shrieking white-hot pain.

                                  I can't help you with an estimate for getting back in the saddle since my "sunburn" was interior (the radiation onc called it a sunburn, I kid you not!). I got a pony ride on my Bailey just a couple weeks after my treatment ended.

                                  Don't shy away from asking your doctor her professional opinion of your healing time even though she's not horsey. She will still have a medical opinion of when you're healed enough that you won't tear out your stitches. Ow.
                                  I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
                                  Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.


                                  • #18
                                    I don't know, but would a catheter help for the first few days, until healing is further along?


                                    • #19
                                      If you can pee into water this will dilute the urine considerably and make it more tolerable - think peeing in the bathtub, which I know is gross and not particularly convenient, but just an example.

                                      Maybe you have an empty Cool Whip container you could fill with warm water and cup to the affected area?


                                      • #20
                                        Spray on bandage, I don't think that is a good idea. The area needs to breathe and drain.

                                        Good Luck!
                                        Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

                                        Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!