Broken Ankle advice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-16-2012, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Broken Ankle advice

Hello everyone, Any information that I could get would be great. I have never had an injury before. I have been riding for 27 years (30 years old now)
I was trail riding when a horse turned and quickly backed into my mare and started kicking her while I was mounted, breaking my ankle in the process. Pretty much snapped my foot off of my leg. 5 screws to put my ankle back together and 6 weeks with a cast on and using crutches. Physio for 12 weeks. I am not able to put weight on it until the Doc gives the okay.
Just looking for any advice about getting back in the saddle, or any advice at all.
Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-17-2012, 10:03 AM
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Ouch! Sorry about your accident- sounds nasty! I too have a plate w screws in my ankle, from about 3 yrs ago. First of all listen to your doctor's advice, and do your physio. When it heals it will be very stiff for a while, and you will lose some mobility, partly from lack of use. But if you do the physio and keep it moving you can regain this, but it will take a while. You may find tall boots uncomfortable because of the screws- I only wear lace-up paddock boots now. But the most important thing is the physio, definitely. Good luck!
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-17-2012, 10:19 AM
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The Forum is not the authority on such matters, your doctor and the physiotherapist are much better qualified. The bones have to heal, as does the soft tissue binding and supporting the ankle. Xrays and massage and exercise
are the important components in the healing process.
Undoubtedly you are in for some pain - the question is just how much pain.

When you can walk without limp, when you can support the weight of your
body on the leg with the broken ankle, when the doctor gives you authority to drive a car - then you can ask yourself if you can ride your horse. In the interim decide whether to ask a friend to exercise your horse on your behalf or whether to lay the horse off for a few months.

The ankle is important in the process of absorbing the concussion coming up from the horses foot action when carrying you. I'd be surprised if you could take the pain until the ankle is properly healed.

Be patient.
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-17-2012, 11:02 AM
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I've been there, done that.

I was also kicked while mounted resulting in a broken leg. I had to ride a mile to get back to the barn, where I passed out in the parking lot. Luckily I was training horses for an orthopedic surgeon who whisked me to his office for treatment. When he tried to cut off my custom boot, I made him pull it off. He told me my leg couldn't be broken or I would have been screaming when he pulled it off.

When he came back with the x-ray, he took that comment back. I laughed and told him I WOULD have screamed if he had taken scissors to my beloved boots.

I couldn't be cast for several days, but once I was I was determined to ride. I led the horse to a mounting block in crutches. Got on bareback, as my leg couldn't get in stirrups, and just hacked. The doctor didn't clear me....he knew better than to try to stop me.

However, you need to talk with your doctor. When you are able to get in a walking cast (weight bearing) I see no reason you can't get on a RELIABLE horse for hacking. I took more risks than I would ever suggest you make.

I rode in an event with my leg in a splint. I was riding the doctors horse and he put me in a removable cast with a splint back-up. I was not able to flex my ankle so had to ride with a longer stirrup. definitely a unique experience I hope never to repeat.

While I almost never bought show photos, I did buy this one from that show




Be careful, but you may find you can ride sooner than you think.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-17-2012, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for everyones advice. I am following my doctors advice 100%. I want to heal as quick as possible. Just wanting to hear some positive feedback about my situation. Why is it positive comments are harder to get than negative ones? I have heard them all. Thanks again
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-17-2012, 01:52 PM
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That's probably because people are afraid to encourage too much too soon. I understand that. Having had a broken leg and riding within five days of the injury, I won't say that this was the smartest thing, just what I did. Luckily, I had no negative repercussions from it. I hope all goes well with your recovery.

You need to show pics of the cast, and even the x-rays. It would be interesting. Keep us updated on your recovery.
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-17-2012, 01:55 PM
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OMGosh, Allison--sounds like the "Seabiscuit" story, LOL!!
I, too had horses for 20 years before I broke something--got thrown and had a clean break right in the middle of my rh humerous. MY beef is that my dr. prescribed a sling, instead of a cast. My humerous is now 94% straight. You can't see it, but I'm NOT a happy camper.
It will take about 3 months to mend, but 6 months to TOTALLY heal. You'll want to baby it for the next 1/2 year. (THIS is why I'm Pixx'd bc I DID baby my arm, and I don't want to re-break it to get it to 100% straight...like it was before the accident.)
Your x-rays will show a bulge or several bulges where the bone will calcify around any breaks. This calcification will be reabsorbed by the time it's totally healed. YOU injury is more serious than mine bc an arm does not bear much body weight.
PLEASE don't do like Allison--I AM impressed with you, Iron Lady!!!
Take really good care of it. If you do it will probably be stronger than it was prior to the accident. (This also happened to an Intl rider in Germany, who wrote about the incident in an indoor arena, in "Practical Horseman" many years ago--you're NOT alone!)
BTW, a study some 5-10 years ago determined that the antibodies produced by a bone break prevent ovarian cancer. I like to tell that to men who break an arm/leg. =b
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-18-2012, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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ok...I have an update. My cast was removed about 3 days ago. the first day was by far the worst. After the cast was removed I could barely even move my toes, it was worse than when the cast was on. But everyday is getting 100 times better. I can move my toes and even lift my foot just slightly up. My doc said that with physio I should be riding and back to running in about 4-6 months. Long road a head, but I am looking forward to getting outside and standing up long enough to lunge my horses after their 3 month break :) Thank you everyone for you support. It gave me encouragement when I definitely needed it :)
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