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Spinal fusion L5-S1, now Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

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  • Spinal fusion L5-S1, now Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

    OK, so I had a spinal fusion year and a half ago and was in hopes of being able to ride again, but I ended up with increasing pain in the hips, groin and thigh. I still have low back pain over my bone graft, particularly after sitting. I was just diagnosed with sacroiliac joint dysfunction and given a steroid injection. The doctor who did the SI injection described the SI joint as being "the next link in the chain to go" after a fusion. Has anyone else had this happen and if so did things improve?

    I mat a point where I feel like I need to make some decisions with my horses. My BWP mare is leased through June, but I have her 2 year old colt by Ironman at home. My pain lis to the extent that trying to work part time and be a halfway decent mom to my three kids is all I can do. If anyone has any experience with these issues, good or bad, I would love to hear them.

    It took me thirty seven years to get such nice horses, and I hate to give up on my dream....ok, I'd settle for doing 2'6... but if it is hopeless I'd rather give these horses the homes they deserve.

  • #2

    Look into your own stem cell procedure to "glue" your S.I. and spinal ligaments back into place. P.R.P and BMAC procedures have worked well for me and my family. They can now do disc "plumping up" and other joints, too. I'm now 9 years out from multi-level spinal compression fractures, squashed discs and hyper-extended pelvic ligaments to go with the unstable S.I. (Got hit by a deer while galloping a big DWB.)

    I have had a lot of P.T. to learn how to move, what I can do and how to rock the S.I. back into position. I can ride well enough to foxhunt with the 2nd flight, do low jumps and ride about 2 1/2- 3 hours. I am more comfortable in 2 point than walking. The horse and saddle have got to be soft moving. I found teaching the greenies to jump to be too hard on my back. The awkward efforts gave me too much concussion. Plus, it can be hard to stay with them when they are over-jumping and soaring above the standards and the instructor. A back cracking bascule also cracks my back, too.

    The P.T. may also have other ideas to help you. Sometimes a stability belt helps while you are building core strength. I have to be careful how much weight I lift and at what angles. Bending, Lifting, and Twisting are not good. Have to use the techniques for them.
    Intermediate Riding Skills


    • Original Poster

      Wow, thanks so much for taking the time to post all that information. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. I know nothing about SI joints and I just couldn't believe something else went wrong.

      Getting hit by a deer on a horse..horrible...in a million years who would expect that?!?!

      The back cracking bascule, is that back cracking in a feels good way, or a to be avoided way? Both of my horses are super athletic and round over fences...I fear I'll either need to jump things small enough to step over or get something with a flatter jump.

      I am sooooooo glad to hear things have improved for you. It has been two years since I got hurt and I've started giving up hope....especially with the development of the SI joint problem.

      Thank you again for your time Whicker!


      • #4
        there's still a lot that can be done to strengthen around the joint and make it more comfortable. Yeah, sitting the trot is probably not going to be in your future but jumping position works like a charm. I hope it all goes well for you.


        • #5
          Earwen please

          I sent you an email.
          Intermediate Riding Skills


          • Original Poster

            Hi Whicker, I sent you one back, thank you so much!


            • #7
              I feel your pain....

              Not the fused spine, but the SI joint disfunction. I've been dealing with mine for almost 2 years now and I'm happy to report that 'sitting' (as in the trot!) is not necessarily out of the question I would never have thought it, but about 2 months ago, almost all of a sudden, I was finally able to really sit and follow my very big-moving dutch gelding.
              It was a combination of PT, drugs, SI belt, an excellent chiroprachtor, some determination and finally having a horse that could lift and carry through his back.
              I found the most improvement (least pain) for me was when I began riding with the SI belt. After about 2 months I was able to ride without the belt occasionally, and after about 6 months I rarely used it. (But I still carry it in my barn-bag just in case). I didn't practice the sitting trot much, as that was the thing that aggravated my SI joint the most. But as I got stronger overall the trot fell into place.
              When I first started with the belt I would allow one or two 'shock's of pain at the start of a ride as that seemed to be typical of my back adjusting to the in saddle position. I would do a full hour lesson (at whatever level I could maintain) as long as the pain did not persist or grow more frequent. I iced it a lot.
              I only ride in my own saddle (which was custom) and I found an ultra thin-line pad helped reduce some of the concussion.
              Do NOT ride in anything that is CAIR or similar!
              My coaches are excellent, and learned to identify some of my position flaws that aggravate that joint. We worked on and off the longe and they can now often prevent a flare-up by being super vigilant about my low-back position.
              I ride 3-4 times a week, almost always in a lesson.
              I still have joint pain, but seldom when riding and find that a following sitting trot is now one of the most comfortable spots to be in.
              I am a dressage rider, so I can't speak to your hunter aspirations, but maybe you'll see a spark of hope in my experience..... I was afraid it was the end of dream for me too!