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Fused Ankle and riding

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  • Fused Ankle and riding

    I had my ankle fused about 6 years ago. Unfortunately it was fused at a 100 deg angle. I am now finally trying to get back to riding. Currently using an outback saddle. It's okay for trails and I have minimum pain when riding in it. If I lose a stirrup where on the side where the fusion is I have to put it back on by hand.

    I would like to get back to the point where I am jumping again. Has anyone had any experience with this kind of injury and is my goal a bridge too far?
    "I am sorry, I lead a bit of a complex life, things don't always happen in the right order" The Doctor

  • #2
    Considerations.......

    Not to overstate the obvious, however consistently dropping a stirrup is IMO an indicator NOT to jump.
    I'm sure the physician has given you the average lifespan of a fusion and the implications of further surgery, especially if you are young.

    The loss of ankle motion pretty much completely disrupts the normal mechanism your body would use to control itself over a jump. The higher the jump, the greater the potential for disaster due to this loss.

    All that said, I'd be a buyer of NO stirrups and jumping what you could that way
    and
    you have been on a consistent off horse strengthening program to minimize the compensations that take place after such a surgery.

    Regards,
    Medical Mike
    equestrian medical researcher
    www.equicision.com

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by medical mike View Post
      Not to overstate the obvious, however consistently dropping a stirrup is IMO an indicator NOT to jump.
      I'm sure the physician has given you the average lifespan of a fusion and the implications of further surgery, especially if you are young.
      Actually he didn't even mention that the fusion had a life span or any other future surgery. In fact he was very much of the attitude that I was cured and should have no problems at all for the rest of my life, which I haven't found to be true

      I have had other surgeons want to fuse the sub talus joint but since the pain I have in the foot now is meta tarsal, as an engineer I have a hard time understanding how that would help. In fact I'm pretty sure it would make it worse.

      They'll press on various points on my foot to prove to me the problem is the sub talus joint but I've never felt the pain they claim I should be feeling when they do that.

      The loss of ankle motion pretty much completely disrupts the normal mechanism your body would use to control itself over a jump. The higher the jump, the greater the potential for disaster due to this loss.
      I was hoping there was something, shock absorbing stirrup perhaps, that would compensate for the lack of flexibility. Or maybe an aside saddle, though it would need to be aside on the right since the left ankle is the one with the problem.

      All that said, I'd be a buyer of NO stirrups and jumping what you could that way
      and
      you have been on a consistent off horse strengthening program to minimize the compensations that take place after such a surgery.


      Regards,
      Medical Mike
      equestrian medical researcher
      www.equicision.com
      I had a feeling that no stirrups was the answer.

      I wasn't aware there was a program that would minimize the compensations that take place after surgery. Can you tell me where I can find that?

      I did manage to increase the flexibility of the sub talus and other joints of the foot to the point one ortho thought the fusion had failed and x-rayed it only to find out it was solid. But that I did entirely on my own. The surgeon who did the fusion just believed in non weight bearing while it healed and then these $200 plus shoe inserts based on a gait analysis as the only things needed in a recovery regime.

      Thank you very much for your feedback.
      "I am sorry, I lead a bit of a complex life, things don't always happen in the right order" The Doctor

      Comment


      • #4
        Jeeze, I actually have some experience with this one. I had a lovely riding wreck in 1976...broke leg/ankle & foot. Haven't had an ankle that did much of any bending when I ride since then...but since I kept my foot (turns out that was a risk due to possible damage...Eek! Only time in my life I ever fainted was when I got that news), I've no complaints at all. I haven't been able to do anything faster than a walk since then either, at least going forward.

        What to do? Use your knees as shocks vs. your ankle. Get some very nice and heavy safety stirrups that you can slip your foot into from the side...kind've like Peacock stirrups, only better.

        http://www.vtosaddlery.com/Merchant2...Category_Code=

        I've got these on all my saddles...plus they set the stirrups 90 degrees so your foot goes directly in the stirrup, much easier and no feeling around necessary.

        Once your knees start keeping the pressure in the stirrups, you won't lose them.

        And I fox hunt, do jumpers and hunters and trail ride. Can't walk pain free at times and will suddenly go lame for a minute or two...but you can do all the riding like you did before...in time and with experience.

        Good luck.
        "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Trakehner View Post
          Jeeze, I actually have some experience with this one. I had a lovely riding wreck in 1976...broke leg/ankle & foot. Haven't had an ankle that did much of any bending when I ride since then...but since I kept my foot (turns out that was a risk due to possible damage...Eek! Only time in my life I ever fainted was when I got that news), I've no complaints at all. I haven't been able to do anything faster than a walk since then either, at least going forward.

          What to do? Use your knees as shocks vs. your ankle. Get some very nice and heavy safety stirrups that you can slip your foot into from the side...kind've like Peacock stirrups, only better.

          http://www.vtosaddlery.com/Merchant2...Category_Code=

          I've got these on all my saddles...plus they set the stirrups 90 degrees so your foot goes directly in the stirrup, much easier and no feeling around necessary.

          Once your knees start keeping the pressure in the stirrups, you won't lose them.

          And I fox hunt, do jumpers and hunters and trail ride. Can't walk pain free at times and will suddenly go lame for a minute or two...but you can do all the riding like you did before...in time and with experience.

          Good luck.
          Thank you very much. Your post gives me a lot of hope.

          I am definitely going to get a pair of those stirrups. The illustration in the catalog showed them being warn with the open side to the horse. Is that the way you ride with them?
          "I am sorry, I lead a bit of a complex life, things don't always happen in the right order" The Doctor

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by chaotic mind View Post
            Thank you very much. Your post gives me a lot of hope.

            I am definitely going to get a pair of those stirrups. The illustration in the catalog showed them being warn with the open side to the horse. Is that the way you ride with them?
            Yep, open side to the horse...they're expensive but do work great...and lots easier to get my foot in the stirrup too, less ankle bending (which doesn't work well for me on a good day).

            Good luck!
            "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"

            Comment


            • #7
              side saddle

              Good friend of mine has a useless knee. She rides side saddle, rides with a major hunt, tears it up. she tells me not to tell anyone(because the saddle makes her look like an incredible ridder) but its not hard at all and fairly safe. You do need lesson, there are techniques to learn and some equipment changes. She also does dressage. Rides a huge Irish Draft.

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