Is it possible to get back to riding with spinal plates & pedicle screws? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-23-2010, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Is it possible to get back to riding with spinal plates & pedicle screws?

I fell off a rearing horse and had my lower back vertebrae broken, a surgical operation was made to remove the broken part and fix the rest with plates and pedicle screws.

Anyone had or know similar cases to learn from? also, i was curious to know if things can get back to normal and if if there is any possibility to get back to riding and how long this would take?

Appreciate your support or having online discussion with people who can help in getting through this.

Thanks, wish a safe riding for all!
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-23-2010, 09:06 AM
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Welcome to the forum!

I ride with several compressed fractured vertebrae and a pair of herniated disks but never had to have pieces removed! Frankly, it should be your doctor who lets you know. I would think that if there is a possibility that another fall would do more damage, then I would think not.

However, just because you may not be able to ride, doesn't mean that your love of horses can't be satisfied. You may want to consider driving if you can't ride.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-23-2010, 09:50 AM
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Hello Popsec,
Welcome to the horse forum!
I do not have any plates or screws in my lower spine, however,
I have a 2 level fusion in my neck with a titanium plate and 6 screws.

My injuries all started in 2004 when I hurt my arm at work. Had 4 surgeries on my arm got better and a few weeks after that all ended I was in a car accident. Bam! i was injured again. I ended up having 2 spinal surgeries on my neck. The first was a foraminotomy and then less than a year later the 2 level fusion.
My neck injury happened in July of 2007. Then I was well enough to go to the gym and my knee swelled up like a balloon and I ended up having a knee surgery almost 1 year ago now.

So, I truly thought that I would never be able to ride again. I had already not ridden for almost 15 years or so, for different reasons than health.
But the passion of horses had never left me. As a youngster on through into my 20's that is what I did, I rode many horses Daily!

It was a tough road to get better from all these things. But I worked very hard in physical therapy and at home to get better. I followed all the surgeons and ocs orders.
Finally it all paid off. At my yearly check up from my fusion surgery I asked my surgeon if I could ride and he said he was fine with it.
So, I am now riding approx 5-8 hours a week.
I think that every person's body is different in how it will recover. All docs are different in their opinions of what a person should or shouldn't do following a spine surgery.

How long has it been since your surgery? Before I got on and started to ride on a regular basis I had the yearly follow up and was told I was about 80-90% fused and it would be fine to ride.
Is it a rsik. Certainly it is. But horses are in my blood.

I hope myy story will help you. As a person that is entering the medical field and also a person who has been through a lot as a patient, I always like to say to follow your doctor's direction and work hard at regaining as much function as possible.
If you ever need support just send out a PM and I will return the message.
Best of luck to you and again, welcome to the forum!

Last edited by HalfPass; 02-23-2010 at 09:52 AM.
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-23-2010, 10:48 AM
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there are also types of horses that are easier on your back(proper training considered obviously). i know walking horses are supposed to be so smooth(never riden one myself). but i also know a bunch of advocates of Peruvian Paso's, i rode one and MAN, THEY ARE SMOOTH!! just like i was floating on a cloud. plus they have these GORGEOUS, long, thick mane's and tails.
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-23-2010, 11:35 AM
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My husband's uncle had a freak horse accident where a young horse fell/flipped over on top of him. He now has 2 long metal rods in his back, on either side of his spine. It took a long while about a year or more), but he is now back to riding. He cannot ride quite like he used to, but is able to give riding/roping clinics. He says that sitting on a horse is actually the most comfortrable position for his back to be in.

I hope you are able to heal up well and get back to riding. Just give yourself plenty of time. Good luck!
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-23-2010, 12:09 PM
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My riding partner had a laminectomy and fusion in her neck and still rides though not quite at her former level; and I have returned to riding after a couple of devastating injuries. The most recent one, I shattered my right ankle, and had a non union fracture that required two bone grafts and an electrode connected to a battery stimulator to finally get it to heal.

BUT I'm not a medical professional, and I don't know what the specific risks are with your injury.

What I can tell you is that *lots* of folks, and plenty on this forum, recover from signifigant injuries and continue riding. In your shoes, I would find a sports medicine doctor - having worked with other athletes, they tend to be more understanding about the desire to return to riding, and better at analyzing exactly what's required.

Then find, a sweet, safe horse and a good instructor who's familiar with rider rehab and take it slow.

Oh, and post here for encouragement and moral support.
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-23-2010, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for you kind support, that really gave me a push especially in this period where i am still trying to realize what happened as it is just 2 weeks now since I made the fusion surgery.

ElizabethM: the case you mentioned gave me a lot of hope as it sounds even more serious than the situation here.

maura: that was another nice push, i just may be still in the shock that i made a sudden emergency surgery so i thought all my acitivities will be ruined specially the riding thing.

All of your replies were really helpful, thanks.

When this accident happened, i thought i will never feel like riding or seeing a horse again but after things settled and while i was watching a TV program about a racing carnival (though i am not into racing) and when i just saw the horses faces, something moved deep inside as if i am missing a family member long time ago, it is really something that can't be given up.

sometimes i think it is just enough for me to be able to be with horses or at least be on their backs walking together, those creatures are a big secret !!

Anyone suggests some ways of satifsying my horse passion till i recover?, i watch stuff about horses till my doctor permits me to go out of home, and I really wish to have few ideas to do during my time with horses other than riding till things become more clear.

Thanks again for all,
looking forward to hear from you, please feel free to PM me if anyone cares to have an online discussion.

Best of wishes for all!
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