Knee injury and riding - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-17-2013, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Knee injury and riding

I don't know if this is in the right place but I need some comforting/guidance. I recently (as in two days ago) fractured my knee while moving hay. I've not gone in for an MRI yet (have an appointment tomorrow) but I've basically been told that it looks like my PCL is wrong. I'm hoping that I'm dead wrong and it doesn't need surgery or anything like that but I do have a few questions to try and ease my worrying.

1. Has anybody experienced this or a surgery to repair it? And can you give me any advice or a general overview of a recovery time? Any tips? lol

2. How have you recovered? Has it gotten better so that you can ride and how well could you ride/work with horses/move after it was fixed?

I know that everyone is different and no operation/recovery goes the same for everyone I just need some answers since none of the doctors I've talked to recently deal with horses so they don't know. I'm just fretting that I'll need surgery and then never be able to work with horses again (or be a large animal vet for that matter). I'm just stressing a little over what might come and I'd rather be prepared for what might come and then be happy if it's not that bad.

A big thank you to anybody who answers this in case I can't thank you when I read your response!
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-18-2013, 04:49 PM
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PCL tears don't always require surgery the way ACL tears do. It really all depends on how unstable your knee feels during activity or even walking and any other soft tissue damage there may be (ie meniscus tear). ACL tears are usually more worrisome, but if you are having a great deal of buckling or feeling like the bones are shifting when you walk or ride, surgery may be your only option for a normal life. Once you tear your ACL of PCL, the ligmanet does not grow back as with the collateral ligaments. I am not as well versed in PCL reconstruction surgery, so I don't know as much about the recovery process.

I personally have been dealing with an ACL tear for years. It started as a partial tear from a rugby injury almost 10 year ago, but a couple horseback riding accidents have made it worse to the point where I have to wear a rather heavy duty brace when I ride. I have also ruptured and retorn my MCL in the process so I have more instability from that injury. The riding itself hasn't been much of an issue. If fact the riding has strengthened the muscles around my knee and hip joints. However, I've really tweaked my knee bad to the point of being laid up for months just from a horse tripping or bucking. It doesn't take much for it to literllay "pop" out, hence the brace when I ride "just in case". Last year I retore my MCL and had a stress fracture from riding out a bucking horse. I've also had to modify my active lifestyle. I can still jog with a special brace, but I am limited in how far I can go without really compensating how I run and I can't play sports any more such as soccer and rugby, but I have just learned how to live with running at the 5K level and hiking in moderation. As long as I can still ride, I am just going to hold off surgery. I'm not trying to be a hero or anthing. I just know it's a LONG rehab process, something I neither have the time for, nor can afford right now, especially since I just had a baby and have those medical bills to deal with.

Good luck. If you opt out of surgery, make sure to get into physical therapy to build up the muscles around your hips and knees to make you as stable as possible and avoid damaging the cartilage further.

Last edited by Equusketch; 07-18-2013 at 04:54 PM.
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-20-2013, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I really appreciate getting another view and I hope everything goes well for you! :)
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-21-2013, 12:35 AM
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Do you have any updates on that follow up?
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-23-2013, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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So it turns out that despite all their clinical signs and assumptions it's all bone injuries. I have to go discuss my options soon but the doctor said that I must have dislocated it then put it back in. There were shards of bone that he thought were due to ligament damage because a lot of times apparently in PCL damage this is a sign but the MRI said my knee fractured and a few pieces of bone just tore off and are floating around.

They really had me worried there for a while but I'm immensly glad that it wasnt any ligament damage!

Thanks for the thoughts!
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-29-2013, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Well what at first seemed promising has turned a little worse. An MRI showed that I relocated my knee when I stood up in the hayloft, walked around, moved a bale, got down a ladder and drove myself home (my boss took care of my horse for me because my leg was 10X it's normal size and I was going to turn her back out into a back pasture). I shattered the bone and cartilage that fits into the socket and allows movement (it's on the underside of a tendon that runs over the front of the knee). There are shards all around my knee and a ligament inside of the joint thats a little torn. I go into surgery tomorrow and they said they'll try and fix what they can and then play the waiting game but until then I'm stuck. IF everything goes 100% according to plan I'll have three months to let things settle, a test to bend my knee without dislocation, then 6 months of therapy then a test to put a tiny amount of pressure on it then about a year to get at least 50% use back. I have to put my college on hold and wont be going this year because of said set back and inability to do basic self care. :P

Oddly enough what he said about me riding upset me most. He said I wouldn't be riding until about two years from now IF everything goes according to plan, and even then there is no guarentee that I will be able to ride because of arthritis, further dislocation, and the spine injury that has to be refixed because I also managed to throw out all the chiropractic work they did on my back to fix it while I was gimping around and laying around.

But he never said anything about driving! Where we board the trainer I work with drives horses and I learned from her to drive years ago. I mainly harness for people now seeing as I don't own a horse that can drive but I drive off and on whenever I can. I drove the minis that were in training a year ago and it renewed my passion for it!

My mom took me out to the barn to see my mare whos turning 19 or 20 soon and I was stuck in a wheel chair. I hate to admit this I bawled like a baby and just held her head to me. Then something hit me. She's bomb proof, knows her basics, i have acess to all equipment, carts, harness and knowledge (plus hands and legs) I need to train her so I asked my boss and my mom to help train her to drive. They both agreed and said after my surgery they'll teach her to pull one of the small training carts because she's getting on in years.

Anybody ever drive quarter horses? lol how about ones that like a loose rein? I don't think this will be a problem because she knows vocal cues (hates leg so I've always done everything vocal, rein and seat) and is an honest worker. So that's become me, my mom, and my trainers project (aside from me getting better) lol

Just had to get that off my chest! :)
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horses , injuries , knee , riding , surgery

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