Knee issues = balance issues... need some help! - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 03-27-2012, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Knee issues = balance issues... need some help!

So, I'd noticed this a few rides ago, but didn't think much of it as I was still healing up from mine and Dakota's fall last month...

I'm having some balance issues, and these issues are being caused by my knee.

When me and Dakota fell, he landed all his weight on my right knee on the pavement. I was on crutches to help me walk for a little over a week and limped up until about a week and a half ago.

I'm all healed, as far as injuries ad all goes. My knee is still a little swollen looking, but everything is healed and the bruising is even gone. The doctors said it was fine.

However, I'm having issues. My knee doesn't bother me running, jumping, etc... but when riding, it hurts like crazy.

It's just a major pain around/under my kneecap. When riding, I have to take my foot out of the stirrup and rest it about ten minutes every twenty or thirty minutes. Walking kills my knee, but trotting and cantering doesn't hurt at all.

M main issue, though, is my balance and how I give my horse leg cues now. When riding, I literally can barely move my right leg because it hurts so badly. I can't nudge my horses with my riht heel because it's excrutiating pain when I move my leg back to nudge my horses. My knee will also not hold my weight very well when it comes to balancing if my horse stops suddenly, like from a trot to a halt all of a sudden... though I can'teven keep my balance when my horses go from a walk to a halt very well at the moment because my knee literally won't take my weight without giving out.

My poor Dakota has had to learn all my leg cues from the left leg alone! Lol...

Is there any way you guys know to help get my knee to working properly again? Or do you guys have any tips or things I can do to strengthen the muscles or whatever?

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (1994 TWH mare), Dakota (2006 TWH gelding), Jo (2012 TWH filly) & Minnie (1992 Paint mare)
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-28-2012, 12:42 AM
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Well, first of all, I'd think that another visit to the doctor might be in order, and some physical therapy. It sounds like the supporting muscles have either gotten weaker from the injury itself, or from the limping that followed it.

Is your balance when standing (not on the horse) affected? Balance is both a product of your inner ear functioning correctly and all the minor support muscles in your foot, calf and in particular, around the pelvis.

Some knee trouble in equestriennes is especially worsened due to having the inner thigh muscles so strong that they are not balanced by the outer thigh muscles, and consequently, the kneecap gets pulled off center.
I have this trouble, a lot. I try to do excersizes that strengthen the outer thigh and the gluteal muscles, like lying on one side and lifting the leg up, and doing gluteal muscles squeezes ( just standing, like washing dishes and such, you tighten your butt muscles and only them and hold it for a bit. Do 20 times).

This might help you, but I think a doctor would better be able to tell what sort of excersize will strengthen your leg. I do believe that it's a bit soon to expect things to be back to normal. Don't despair.
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post #3 of 13 Old 03-28-2012, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I'm also thinking that another doctor visit is needed...

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (1994 TWH mare), Dakota (2006 TWH gelding), Jo (2012 TWH filly) & Minnie (1992 Paint mare)
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post #4 of 13 Old 03-29-2012, 09:38 AM
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You just need to work on your ballance without sturrups. I have 2 bad knees, And im only 26. I have times where I have to ride with my legs just hanging to relax them on long trail rides.
I got kicked by a horse in one knee and a cow in the other.
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-29-2012, 09:53 AM
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I second the doctor visit and possible a physical therapist.

A ton of knee problems originate with weak hip and lower core muscles. Sounds a lot like (I am not a doctor, so take this with a grain of salt please) my motorcycle accident. I went down pretty hard on my left knee, healed pretty quickly, but had on/off knee pain for months. Finally went in and the doctor told me that the pain associated with the accident caused me to use my body differently and basically weakened my left hip and lower core.. Which was allowing my femur to basically wiggle around on top of my knee, which caused irritation and pain. He prescribed exercises to strengthen my hips/core and the problem resolved.
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post #6 of 13 Old 03-29-2012, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for the information!

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (1994 TWH mare), Dakota (2006 TWH gelding), Jo (2012 TWH filly) & Minnie (1992 Paint mare)
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-06-2012, 03:21 AM
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My left knee is mangled and I have surgery in July. I feel your pain.

I've been doing some muscle building exersices just to help it stabilize a bit, it really helped.

Hmmm. As for those darned leg cues. Grin and bear it! Or at least that's what I did for a while, and then my knee got a bit more stable, and it became less of a problem.

"all I ever dreamt about was makin' it; they ain't giving it, I'm taking it"
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-08-2012, 10:39 PM
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I feel you, Britt. I have polyarthritis and on some days I have to ride bareback if I am to ride at all (sometimes not all that fun with a greenie! @_@). Sometimes it's because my arm joints can't handle lifting the saddle, but more often it's because my knees can't handle it when riding correctly with stirrups.

On the upside, I've ended up with velcro-butt. Sock threw me a few good bucks the other day riding bareback and I didn't move an inch!
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-10-2012, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses, guys. I haven't been on due to computer problems.

I am seriously thinking about going to the doctor this friday or saturday with my knee.

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (1994 TWH mare), Dakota (2006 TWH gelding), Jo (2012 TWH filly) & Minnie (1992 Paint mare)
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-10-2012, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Britt View Post
Thanks for the responses, guys. I haven't been on due to computer problems.

I am seriously thinking about going to the doctor this friday or saturday with my knee.
Sooner the better. Apparently crush injuries are pretty difficult to determine severity at the initial examination.
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