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Broken leg....

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  • Broken leg....

    Not really a disability...but still pretty bad.

    I had a bad fall in May that resulted in a nasty concussion (2 months recovery) and a hurt arm. Fast forward to 3 weeks ago....took a simple, easy fall off my horse and ended up breaking my ankle/leg in 4 places.

    http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y25...g?t=1258389266

    Ortho surgeon says that my ankle is never going to be 100% again as far as flexibility and strength. We were doing low-level hunters and eventing (2'6" to 3'). I'm really doubting that I want to jump anymore (or will be physically able to).

    Anyone done a complete discipline switch after an injury? Coco's a QH that is just as happy with a western saddle on....but we've spent the last 2 years getting her to really go forward. I'm sure she can still jog and lope, but I think it's going to be an either/or situation.
    ~Katelyn~

  • #2
    SO sorry

    I broke and dislocated my ankle 2 years ago from a fall. I was on crutches for 3 months, and then it took 6 months before I could ride. I am a Hunter/Jumper trainer and I am happy to say that I am back to riding and training (Jumping too 3'3"). My ankle will never be the same, but it actually has more stability than the other ankle because of all the hardware. Please move your ankle as much as possible after your cast is off. It will hurt, but you will be better for it in the long run. (The fall before I broke the ankle, I had a concussion and a broken tailbone, so I feel your pain). It took a while to get my confidence back, and I still will not ride rank horses that I don't know. Those days are over for me, and that is OK Good luck and fast healing!!!
    Certified Spiritual Medium/ Animal Communicator
    www.heatherevebristol.com
    www.meliorastables.net

    Comment


    • #3
      ooohhh.... I'm so sorry! Ouch!

      Don't be quite so sure you won't be able to do what you love. Give yourself enough time to REALLY heal, and then try different stirrups--jointed, wide platform, etc. One of them might be the answer.

      Be kind to yourself in the meanwhile. And think positively. So maybe you have to ride with longer stirrups. That doesn't rule out lower level jumping--things like baby-baby Combined Training, or Hunter Paces (where you can go around, OR over, and often there are different heights on the same jump!)

      It sounds sappy, but being positive about recovery is a HUGE part.

      If you really are thinking you'll have to change disciplines--why not research everything out there. What about sidesaddle? You can even show jumping sidesaddle! Or Working Equitation (Portuguese) Combined Driving, etc. etc. There are lots of venues... find something that makes you go, "OH, that would be FUN!" and make plans (daydream) on how you're going to do it!
      InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        I got all the staples out today and now have a removable cast with instructions to move my ankle as much as I can tolerate. Obviously still not putting any weight on it for another 5 weeks, then I will (hopefully) be able to start putting a little weight on it. The injury was 3 weeks ago, surgery was 10 days ago.

        The ortho surgeon said "You'll be able to ride by summer". Not that encouraging considering that its November.

        The worst part is that it was such a wussy fall. We were doing a 3 jump 1 stride gymnastic....made it fine over the first one, stumbled and landed funny over the second, and Coco decided (wisely) to not do the 3rd jump. I think it would have been a major crash had she jumped the last one because I was off balance from the stumble.

        I'm not sure if I want to jump anymore. It hadn't been fun since I fell off this spring. At least I have a long time off to think about it , and a willing horse that can do whatever.
        ~Katelyn~

        Comment


        • #5
          Sorry

          I hope you feel better really soon. I have had injuries that have left me with permenant limitations. You really learn to compensate quite quickly. It might not always look pretty, but you do indeed learn to compensate. When you are getting told to get that heel down, just remind your instructor the ankle doesn't work.

          I did indeed do a complete discipline change after a very bad accident. I had been riding dressage. At the time I was bringing a mare back from an injury and she flipped over on me. I was left with a concussion and major right leg and knee injury. Once recovered, I started riding in a jumper barn. I did the jumper/Eq stuff for a little while, but I decided I missed dressage far too much and went back to it.

          If you truly love jumping, don't give it up. If you are jumping because that is the most convenient type of barn to find in your area, give it up. If you are too nervous to jump, don't let anyone make you feel badly about giving it up!
          Get well soon
          Beth

          Comment


          • #6
            Don't give up yet. I broke my lower leg, foot and ankle in 1976 in a Gold Cup race (killed my horse too! Not a good year).

            When I awoke from surgery, the doctor said, "We didn't know if we'd be able to save your foot." Auuuugh!!! and then I fainted.

            A year later, after months in a cast and gimping around, I was back doing x-country. I haven't been able to run in a straight line since the accident. Less angle available in my ankle, but with the flexible stirrups, doesn't matter.

            Don't give up...you're just major bummed out with good reason.
            "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"

            Comment


            • #7
              How are you feeling?
              Beth

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Invite View Post
                How are you feeling?
                Doing ok. Having a rough day and feeling sorry for myself. The pain is finally getting better, so thats a big plus. The length of my "stall rest" is starting to sink in....and I found out that I can't drive for at least 8 weeks.

                I get to the barn on Sunday and see Coco. She's doing really well in her new job of being a lesson horse for the little kid lessons. I'm so lucky at the barn I'm at, don't have to worry about her at all.

                Thanks for asking. Its hard to sit at home all day by myself. Well, with a whiny boxer that just doesn't understand why we aren't going for walks on the beach and playing like usual. Thank god for doggie daycare.
                ~Katelyn~

                Comment


                • #9
                  You might look into hand controls for your car. I drove with my other foot and used lots of cruise control. (I broke my right leg from being kicked by my son's POA, while I was galloping on a big tb)

                  There are lots of exercises you can do to gain back your working flexibility. See my post to Akstaj, for some starter ideas. There are several different kinds of stirrups now to help you use your leg aids. When you get back in the saddle, pm me and I'll share what I have learned by then. I liked the endurance stirrups with their thick soft rubber insert pads and broad base. They make a huge difference in the shock absorption.

                  You might also want to look at trail riding events, too. There are different levels and kinds of events and competition. You might want to look at the endurance and trail forum.
                  Intermediate Riding Skills

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I,m glad to see that you are feeling better. Im on my 3rd week of fracturing my leg tibia. I also feel sad and wondering how Ill ever will get back in the saddle, and also feel that it was a stupid ride on somebody's horse that wasnt worth fracturing my leg over it...

                    However, a friend game me advice to take it week by week and not rush and agonize what will future bring. So I also would say the same for you. Dont rush it and think positive. May be with time you will heal really well and will be fine doing what youve been doing.

                    Good luck!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      what about a remote camera in a stall?

                      I am sorry that you both are feeling so low tonight. It takes courage to be still and do nothing when we are use to being happiest in movement. It is exhausting to to do the basics of life and figuring out how to get the things that are out of reach. It is boring when everyone is away DOING stuff, and we can't think clearly enough to write or read or otherwise stay amused.

                      I wonder if anyone has thought of have a remote camera set up in our horses stalls or paddock and using the internet to beam the view to the computer?

                      My neighbor did that for his business and his barn, and he could keep tabs while he was even in some warm place in the Carribean. I don't think it was expensive, either. Worth thinking about...

                      I can ask if you want to learn more.
                      Intermediate Riding Skills

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Luckily my trainer and a few barn friends send pictures to me every couple of days. Otherwise, I'd consider setting up a camera in her pasture to I could get my horse fix. Hubby is bringing me to the barn tomorrow I think that will help alot. I haven't seen Coco since I fell off, and she's on semi-rough board so I usually see her every day.

                        Dressage art: good idea on taking it one day at at time. I get overwhelmed with how long it will be to get back to regular life.

                        My ankle and foot are starting to slowly look like they're supposed to again. It hurts like h*ll to move it and do my stretches....but thats what I have to do to be able to walk normally again.

                        Barn friends are somewhat condescending about me not wanting to jump and possibly switching to another discipline. Lots of "Well, lots of people fall off" and "You've just got to get over the fear". Its not even that I'm scared, I wasn't having fun jumping before this fall.....I can't imagine it will be any better afterwards. At least trainer is taking me seriously (from what I can tell).

                        I hope everyone else is healing well and starts feeling better soon.
                        ~Katelyn~

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thank you Whicker for your kind words.

                          Kate, I just was contemplating to stretch or not to stretch It hurts so bad to do it and then I cant sleep at night, but when I dont stretch its much easier and I can sleep... hard choice to do every day.

                          At my barn there is not web or cell service, its a remote place along a small canyon, thats why it has 700 acres of trails. So no way to set up a webcam. My hubby today went to Zena to drop feed and took photos of her. That was nice to see.

                          Kate, some people are unable to sympathyse or fully imagine themselves in other peoples shoes. So its a lot to expect from them to understand fully how you feel, to understand your desire to change your riding. Try not to expect too much from some of them and it will be a bit easier on you. It seems that your family is supportive and your trainer is supportive as well and thats is very good already.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Broken bones suck! Definitely stay positive! I broke my elbow in Feb, and knew it was really bad. I love medical stuff, and it took me several days to even look at my radiograph after surgery. I can't imagine how my family felt when the surgeon showed them this.

                            I knew elbows (probably like ankles) don't do well with injury, but I kept plugging along. My surgeon is truly amazed at how I have recovered, saying no one ever does this well. So, just remember that there are good outliers out there and we can be them . I also had a nasty shoulder fracture and with lots of tough PT came back very well from that too.

                            I definitely got depressed, I definitely got down on things. But, I tried to just take it one day at a time and look forward to whatever little milestones I got. My husband said I was a totally different person once they told me I didn't have to wear the elbow splint anymore!

                            It may hurt now to do those exercises, but in the long run it will help I promise!! For me, I would always make sure I had meds on board, apply moist heat before stretching to help loosen it up, and ice afterwards to help with soreness.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I had a similar injury 30+ years ago ... multiple fractures of the tibia and fibula at the ankle. Got a similar diagnosis re: future mobility but elected not to have orthopedic surgery unless the breaks failed to heal. Flash forward to today: that leg is fine -- I have about 95% Range of Motion in the ankle, more than sufficient for everyday life plus riding. I am careful to make sure I have on lace up boots that support my ankles whenever I am walking on uneven ground (hiked through England for 10 days last year with a nice pair of Ariat paddock boots .... unconventional but excellent support.)

                              Even the femur I broke this time last year is doing well .... I can trail ride for about 2 hours at a stretch now and I am back to doing lateral work with Her Large Chestnut Self. So, there is hope after major breaks. Time, patience, and due diligence in doing physical therapy and exercises are the keys. Wine and the occasional Percocet also help ....

                              *star*
                              "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
                              - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by ShotenStar View Post
                                I had a similar injury 30+ years ago ... multiple fractures of the tibia and fibula at the ankle. Got a similar diagnosis re: future mobility but elected not to have orthopedic surgery unless the breaks failed to heal. Flash forward to today: that leg is fine -- I have about 95% Range of Motion in the ankle, more than sufficient for everyday life plus riding. I am careful to make sure I have on lace up boots that support my ankles whenever I am walking on uneven ground (hiked through England for 10 days last year with a nice pair of Ariat paddock boots .... unconventional but excellent support.)

                                Even the femur I broke this time last year is doing well .... I can trail ride for about 2 hours at a stretch now and I am back to doing lateral work with Her Large Chestnut Self. So, there is hope after major breaks. Time, patience, and due diligence in doing physical therapy and exercises are the keys. Wine and the occasional Percocet also help ....

                                *star*
                                No surgery wasn't an option for me. All the fractures were very displaced, so it had to happen.

                                Its good to hear from others with similar injuries. I'm working hard to follow dr's orders and move my ankle, even though it hurts.

                                Did you break the femur on the same leg as your ankle?
                                ~Katelyn~

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by KateandKc View Post
                                  Did you break the femur on the same leg as your ankle?
                                  Nope. Ankle was the right, Femur was the left. The right has been broken in five places in three different accidents ... it was the Left's turn ...

                                  Like I tell my doctors, I don't get sick, I just break things.

                                  *star*
                                  "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
                                  - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Dressage Art View Post
                                    Thank you Whicker for your kind words.

                                    Kate, I just was contemplating to stretch or not to stretch It hurts so bad to do it and then I cant sleep at night, but when I dont stretch its much easier and I can sleep... hard choice to do every day.

                                    Kate, some people are unable to sympathyse or fully imagine themselves in other peoples shoes. So its a lot to expect from them to understand fully how you feel, to understand your desire to change your riding. Try not to expect too much from some of them and it will be a bit easier on you. It seems that your family is supportive and your trainer is supportive as well and thats is very good already.
                                    Stretching does eventually start to help. The swelling in my foot/ankle is a lot better, and it *almost* feels better to move it around than keep it still. The first few days were torture, but I think moving it has helped loosen up all the ligaments and tendons.

                                    Thanks for all your kind words and advice. I went to see Coco yesterday and that helped so much! She didn't move a muscle while I brushed her and hobbled around on crutches. Coco really is a such a sweet horse.... I got to see a lot of my barn friends again, so that was very nice. It was good to feel like I was getting back to "normal" life again.

                                    That is a scary elbow x-ray!! I can see why you didn't want to see the x-ray for a few days. Its good to hear that PT can help get good function back.
                                    ~Katelyn~

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Glad to hear you got some good quality time with Coco!! I remember it really made a difference just to go out and see him once in awhile.

                                      Yeah, it was definitely a bad break (as elbows can be). The therapist I used was very big on trigger point therapy (http://www.triggerpointbook.com/) and I really think that is what helped me recover so well. I have used this book for other issues (back, neck, headaches, etc) and I am definitely a fan!

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by pharmgirl View Post
                                        Glad to hear you got some good quality time with Coco!! I remember it really made a difference just to go out and see him once in awhile.

                                        Yeah, it was definitely a bad break (as elbows can be). The therapist I used was very big on trigger point therapy (http://www.triggerpointbook.com/) and I really think that is what helped me recover so well. I have used this book for other issues (back, neck, headaches, etc) and I am definitely a fan!
                                        The PT place I go to (a few bad ankle sprains) does some trigger point therapy. I'll have to talk to them about using it for my ankle.
                                        ~Katelyn~

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