riding after knee replacement surgery - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 31 Old 11-22-2009, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by maura View Post

I am so sorry to hear that. It's a little different for me; I'm 51. I can't imagine facing these surgeries at your age.
Both of my parents have bad knees, so even if I didn't ride I would still have knee issues due to genetics. But riding for the past 9 years, as well as 5-8 miles a day when I was 13 and 14 has certainly made everything a lot worse. So it's no surprise that this would happen.
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post #12 of 31 Old 11-22-2009, 09:51 PM
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I'm 48 and had my second knee done this past May. I was lucky enough to have partial replacements of both knees. I have osteoarthritis that just affected my medial (inside) compartment. My recovery was slower for the first knee than the second. I didn't know what to expect and my physical therapist was more cautious. With the second one, I knew more of what to expect and that I could push harder. I was off crutches in about 7 days and didn't even use a cane with the second one. I probably could have ridden within 2-3 weeks, I was just nervous about potentially falling. I sure didn't want anything to get crunched! I have no trouble mounting with the initially replaced knee (left) and actually I just haven't tried with the right. My left one is almost 2 years old now. My Dr. told me that it would take about 2 years to completely heal and I believe that. It actually took almost a year for all the swelling to go away. Feel free to PM if you have any other questions. I'm just sorry I waited so long. I can now walk without a limp and without pain. It's amazing.

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post #13 of 31 Old 12-04-2009, 06:39 AM
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It's alright to be scared, to avoid surgery I stopped riding for six years hoping they'd magically fix themselves (this didn't happen) I'm now 17, had three knee dislocations (2 L, 1 R) and ongoing issues with osgood schlatters.
This is what I've been using, however the best thing to do is talk to your doctor about nsaids and your physio about supporting it.

- Knee Support Braces
- Nsaids
- Hot & Cold Packs
- Stretching before and after riding (e.g. yoga?)
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post #14 of 31 Old 12-04-2009, 10:56 AM
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Hi Maura.
Well I have had way to many surgeries and way to long out of the saddle! lol
In the past 5 years I have had 9 various surgeries.
4 surgeries to my left arm due to a work injury.During the 3 years on comp I had a girlie surgery. I recovered and then was in a car accident (not my fault) I injured my neck and had 2 neck surgeries in 2008.
Urg. I left the docs office when released to go to the gym and a month later I came home from the gym and my knee swelled up.
I returned to the ortho docs! I knew the "S" word was coming!
I had always had issue with my knee's dislocting as a youngster. When in my early and late teens they wanted to do surgery and I said no!
I rode every day as a youngster and on into my teens and 20's then got out of horses until recently.
So the ortho diagnosed me with a torn medial retinaculum.
In March of this year (2009) I had surgery to repair the tear. it was a long road! I swear I was bed ridden for 6-8 weeks. It was difficult.
Oh- I will be 40 yrs old here this month.
But, the horses have never left my blood. They have been a part of my life and I never stop thinking of them.

The recovery is not a cake walk! The one thing I have to say is insurance companies do not allow patients to have enough Physical Therapy.
This was something I continued to do until I felt I no longer needed it. Even when I had to pay out of my own pocket!
Just do it until you feel our good to go!

That being said since you have ridden many years of your life, I think you will be fine. Just never give up even when it hurts.

I am finally riding again! In may I brought my horse Tiny to live here with me. He has joint issues and is pretty young. I didn't realize i had the drive to want to compete again until I watched others at my barn showing. When Tiny could not be that athletic I decided to get another horse!
I am now in the process of having my 4 1/2 year old TB mare trained. I am even considering jumping with her in the next few years....
One thing at a time.
now that I know I can i am in the process of loosing the pounds gained over the last 5 years, and getting in to good shape. I hope to physically be in much better shape by spring when my mare is ready.

I had someone tell me the same darn thing about horse riding! "well the horse is the one working"
Let them try to ride a XC course or a Dressage test!
please pm for support if you need it!
You will be fine!
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post #15 of 31 Old 12-05-2009, 04:24 PM
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I'm also seriously considering mounting from the right -- it will absolutely break my brain to relearn the habit of 40 years, but my right knee is in much better shape. Both horses are sweet, sensible QHs - one has done cattle work so is probably used to being mounted from both sides.


All I can say is good for you. I think it would be an excellent option. When your body goes thru some serious injuries, you have to accomodate and alter the way you do things but thats ok! I have never gone thru a knee replacement but I have gone thru 5 large operations to reconstruct my pelvis, which on paper is actually a step up from a replacement.

After you go thru surgery, take some time for yourself and let yourself recover. Go thru physio and follow your Surgeon's direction. Before you know it, you will be back in the saddle again.

Here are a couple pictures of what I've been thru to make you feel better It's totally duable madame, you're strong, you'll go thru it, heal and get back in the saddle.

I've got a wrist one somewhere to. Maybe I'll load it later

Promoting the beautiful Canadian Horse
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post #16 of 31 Old 12-05-2009, 04:53 PM
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OMG! Did they leave that hardware in? I had some like that in my leg and it hurt so bad they had to take it out after two years. Wow, its amazing what our bodies can take.
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post #17 of 31 Old 12-05-2009, 07:14 PM
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I'm recovering at the moment from a knee reconstruction on my left knee and I am having EXACTLY the same concerns as you! I'm having MAJOR riding withdrawals and going hard-at-it on the rehab/physio so that I can get back into it as soon as possible.
The first week following the surgery was the worst. I felt so sore that I thought I wouldn't be able to WALK again, let alone RIDE! But it passed. The human's recuperative powers are phenomonal! I was off the crutches in 10 days (4 weeks earlier than schedualled)!!! It's now 3 weeks since the surgery and I'm on an exercise bike! What I'm saying is, that, if you're committed, you can achieve anything you set out to do.
Hope that helps! Good luck with it!

The art of keeping a horse between YOU and the GROUND!

Last edited by DarkEquine; 12-05-2009 at 07:17 PM.
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post #18 of 31 Old 12-08-2009, 06:40 AM Thread Starter
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Dark Equine, thanks for posting, that's encougaing. What do you mean by knee reconstruction? Is that the same as knee replacment?

And if you're on the exercise bike now, when do you think you'll be able to ride again?


Wow, that's an impressive xray. If you don't mind me asking, how did you break both sides? Horse related or car related? Do you now prefer a narrower built horse? Is a full dressage seat with weight on your seat bones difficult?

I have a right ankle xray that looks a lot like that. Besides the screws, I had two bone grafts and a battery stimulator put in that ankle to finally heal a non-union fracture. I had the battery, and as much of the electrode as they could reach taken out because they really bothered me; but the ankle's really good. I get an occassional cortisone shot in it. The irony, or the lesson for the younger among is, is that the original big injuries aren't what's causing my problem now. I believe a large part of the wear and tear on my left knee is because of all the time I spent non-weight bearing on my right ankle.

Oh, and those years of getting on 10 - 12 per day from the ground.

You both might want to consider my crippled middle aged ladies mounting block. My DH made it from sawn tree trunk (I'll have to post a photo). The top of the mounting block is level with the bottom of my stirrup on my larger horse so I just step over. So much easier on me (and them!)
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post #19 of 31 Old 12-08-2009, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by maura View Post
Dark Equine, thanks for posting, that's encougaing. What do you mean by knee reconstruction? Is that the same as knee replacment?

And if you're on the exercise bike now, when do you think you'll be able to ride again?
Well, I had a bad netball accident - rupturing (snapping) my ACL and tearing my Medial and Lateral Meniscus ligaments. Also popped my knee cap out a little bit!
Meant that I needed a "knee reconstruction" aka:
The damaged ligaments were cleaned up and the ACL was REMOVED. The surgeon harvested a piece of my hamstring and drilled two holes, one in my tibia and femur and then threaded the hamstring piece through those two holes, effectively replacing my ruptured ACL.

As for the exercise bike, I can't do a FULL cycle yet, just wheeling the pedal back and forth, but it's helping to strengthen my quads and will help to gently stretch the muscles so that I'll be able to bend it again.

I figure that I'll be able to ride around 2 months following the surgery, but with a mounting block and super long stirrups to start with. Just short rides as well, about 10-15 mins in length. Little by little, I WILL get back on that saddle again!!

The art of keeping a horse between YOU and the GROUND!
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post #20 of 31 Old 12-11-2009, 09:34 AM
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Now i don't feel so bad with all the surgeries i have gone through.
If I had a scanner i would post a piture of my neck and all its titanium hardware...lol
Love hearing all the great outcomes.
Maura...I think you will do fine. Just remember to give yourself a break when recovery is seeming slow! I would just get frustrated and finally learned that I just had to forge on and continue to work har to recover.

When I had torn the medial retinaculm of my right knee the ended up havinf to creat a micro fracture in my femur...this meant non weight bearing for 6 weeks....I did not expect to have that upon coming out of the anesthesia! Needless to say the stairs in my home were a bit challenging! lol
We are amazing humans and really good at adapting.
I broke my pelvis about 12 years ago. I did not have any surgery, but I feel for you...it was painful.

maura, do you have you surgery scheduled already?
we will all be here to help support you through the process....
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