Looking for feedback from anyone who's had a broken pelvis and how long it took to get back to riding.
My story: On 6/30, I was starting to work my mare in my pasture and stopped to talk to a new neighbor. Got involved in a conversation and my mare put her face on the strand of hot wire (which packs a BIG jolt!) that runs around the top of all my fences. In a micro second she had whirled around and started bucking. I had no seat and only the buckle of the reins in my hand. The first buck instantly threw me backward and on the third buck I went WAY up in the air and came down hard on my left side. Since we'd had no rain in forever, the ground was like concrete.
Ambulance took me to the local hospital and they sent me to the Houston MedCenter as they felt I needed a surgical facility that had neuro-surgery capabilities just in case my concussion was worse than they thought (it wasn't). Had two factures in the left iliac wing on my pelvis. Unfortunately, they sent me to a trauma hospital (they did NOT think I was a "trauma") and I had to wait for 9 days to have my surgery. I now sport three plates and assorted screws to hold me together. Total stay in the hospital was 2 weeks. Needless to say, I lost a LOT of strength during the two weeks I spent flat on my back.
Have been home since this past Monday and have started doing some mild exercises to strengthen the muscles and stimulate the nerves to get back feeling on my left side from hip to thigh. I am able to get around quite well with a walker and haven't had any pain meds since two days before leaving the hospital.
My primary concern is how long it will be til I can get back to riding. Would love to hear from anyone who's had a similar injury.
Jingles for a speedy recovery! Wow, that sure must have hurt!!!
I fractured my pelvis when I was 17 in a car accident. Ugh. I didn't have surgery, just had to use crutches for 10 days. It happeded a long time ago but I think I couldn't ride for 1-2 months. Once I started back riding I don't remember too many problems getting back into shape or any pain but then again I was 17.
Good luck, but I would take it really slowly. Don't rush it!!! Are you doing any physcial therapy? If not, I would inquire since a PT could really help you get your strength back and help determine when you could start riding again.
Many jingles coming your way. No broken pelvis, but some severe back and pelvic areas injuries. Take your time to heal. If you too much too soon, you'll regret it. Ask me how I know! I really think the ground is harder than it was when I was younger-DANG Global Warming-must be the reason, not me getting older.
I broke my pelvis in 5 places about 15 years ago in a car accident. I spent 3 weeks in the hopital, and another month on complete bed rest. I was back on a very well behaved horse 12 weeks after the accident, with my doctor's approval. It did hurt alot, but I am glad I did it. I do have arthritis in my hip now, not related to the riding, and have to use a dressage saddle. Short stirrups are not my friend!! Good luck, and a speedy recovery.
I was violently bucked off 3 years ago and fractured my Ishium, near the pubic arch.
No pins or screws...only rest. LOL.
Anyway...I had 2 crutches for a week, then managed with one crutch for another week. After that I was able to start some light weight-bearing and used a cane.
I used that cane for a long time....it's amazing how handy a cane can be!
I did not even try & get on a horse for several weeks.
The pelvic fracture took me way longer to recover from than the 6 broken ribs/punctured lung I had 5 years ago. I was back on board after 3 weeks with the ribs.
Well, I had a horse flip over and land on top of me about 15 years ago, crushing my pelvis and my chest...unfortunately, I never passed out, and felt every jolt of the ambulance on the way to the trauma center. I have metal plates in my left hip and across my symphysis pubis. Within 3 1/2 months, I was able to sit on a horse, and ride comfortably at a walk...graduating to more within a few weeks, no problem! I really have very few ill effects from the horrible bone-crunching ordeal, other than a much greater fear of any possible fall on a horse...I found out mostly that I am very much mortal, and broken bones really hurt :-) Just do whatever exercises they give you, plus whatever else you are comfotable with. I was in a wheelchair for 8 weeks, then a walker, a cane, and then I had to learn to walk all over again. You will recover, and be much more cautious in the future.
when I was 36 weeks pregnant I was in a car accident and broke my pelvis and my back. They could NOT fix it due to the pregnancy. I healed , have no pain and went back to riding about 3 mos after my son was born. He came 2 weeks after the accident. I was lucky, I have since been to nursing school and learned that its a good idea to GO SLOW! the bones could shift while they are healing, and cause major issues! BE careful go slow and remember that in the long run its worth the time to heal!
JINGLES and be careful!!!!
If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.
So sorry to hear about your accident. I fractured my pelvis quite a while ago. I was back riding in 2 months. HOWEVER, many years later when it's cold, wet, or rainy I feel this strange pain in my pelvic area. The Dr.'s said I would more than likely have arthritis. UGH!!!
I hope you heal soon and get back in the saddle! Thoughts & prayer are with you!
I broke the right pubic ramis (essentially the part of the pelvis between the pubic bone and the seat bone) 5 years ago in an accident that was strangely similar to yours. I was on my thesis advisor's horse (what a way to start grad school!), standing and chatting and the horse started bucking out of nowhere. We think he was stung by something, as there was no other explanation.
I was on crutches for 8 weeks and back on my horse within 12 weeks. I didn't require surgery so my healing was probably faster than some of the other fractures described in this thread. Not sure how old you are, but I was 24 at the time so I had youth on my side as well. I was living alone at the time, so my mother stayed with me for about 2.5 months. My apartment was on the 3rd floor, no elevator, which really really sucked.
For the first 4 weeks or so, I was exhausted by simply attending lectures for 4 hours or so out of the day. My mother would drop me off right by the building door, I'd hobble into the auditorium, sit down and not get up until class was done. Then Mom would pick me up, take me home and I'd sleep for 3-4 hours. Ordinarily, I NEVER sleep during the day. I managed to keep up with school, but I didn't do much else. I few times I let friends talk me into going out for dinner or something, i paid dearly the next day or two. Even if I had access to a horse, I don't think I would have felt up to riding.
I did PT for 3 months and did a lot of swimming laps once I was cleared for exercise. Swimming is great since it works your muscles without putting weight on the bone. Even 8-9 months later, I would still get this weird twinge if I ran or even walked quickly. Before the accident I used to go jogging (very slowly), and I never went back to it afterwards. It just was too painful at first and by the time I felt like I could do it, i was just too out of shape. When I started riding again, I was lucky enough to have a safe, sane horse that I trusted. If your horse is not in this category, I suggest borrowing one that is. You'll need one that is happy to trot around on the buckle while you figure out how to make your body listen to your mind again. It is very frustrating when your brain knows how to post and your body just can't quite do it.
5 years later: I don't have any visible aftereffects. I doubt anyone (except for maybe a horse person with an eye for NQR!) could see anything off about the way I walk. This is not to say that everything is just like it was before. I still feel the fracture when the weather changes. I still have some residual stiffness in the hip on the side where the fracture was. I try to do yoga and stretching to loosen things up, but it's a constant work in progress. I admit that with my busy schedule, I am not as good about stretching as I could be. I am most bothered by the hit to my confidence. I still ride but the younger "I'll ride anything with 4 legs" me is gone. I'll be fine and then a silly little spook, even if it doesn't unseat me at all, will have me hyperventilating. Still working on that one. I've found an instructor who is good about not pushing me past my comfort zone and have opted not to take lessons with an instructor who thinks I need to "just get over it."
Best wishes for a quick recovery,
Proudly owned by 2 chestnut mares Crayola Posse: sea green
Mighty Rehabbers Clique
Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences.....
In addition to concern about doing the right rehab so that I can get back to riding without an extended delay, I am also thinking about the impact on my confidence. Even tho the mare who threw me is not a packer, per se, I have owned her for 3.5 years since she started under saddle at 6, and I think she's quite safe. She is a bit reactionary, but I really don't blame her as I know from accidently leaning my forehead on the hot wire when I was repairing a gate latch, that wire packs a really big jolt.
Although I hate to admit to my age (which I also think is in great part a mental attitude), my birth certificate says I am now 61. I do NOT want to bounce like this again. My mare and I event, which I've done for about the last 10 years. Did not start xc jumping until after I was 50, but at the time I had the most dependable, wonderful horse who was a great confidence builder. I recognize that I'm going to have to take the jumping a bit slow to begin with. I am fortunate that I have an absolutely amazing trainer who knows just exactly how much to push me. And she has offered to take my mare plus my young project horse to her place and work them for the 30 days just prior to my starting to ride again.
I'm trying to just concentrate on my rehab and getting stronger and not dwell on the mental aspects of all this.
And thanks for the swimming suggestion. I did ask the doc about that and he said as soon as my incision has completely healed I can start to swim. I have 30 staples from my hip to just above my pubic bone that are going to be removed this Wednesday. Hopefull, I can get in the pool later this week. Just have to figure out how to get in and out as we don't have any above ground rails to ease myself in with.
Thanks! It's so helpful to hear how others have overcome injuries to their bodies and their confidence.
I broke mine in 4 places about 17 years ago. Was banned from doing anything that would cause a fall (skating, riding, skiing, etc) for 6 months, then was able to do anything. Went on to gallop race horses and show (still show a little) and also have a child.
Since you mentioned your age, I'll tell you about my dad. He fractured his pelvis a few years ago -- he turns 80 this year so he must have been around 75 when this happened. He was dismounting his mule (little beast that it was...), right spur caught in the bucking strap, mule jumped sideways away from him, and basically split his pelvis (he was kind of doing the splits, if you can envision it, with the one leg caught in the strap and the other on the ground -- it makes me cringe to think of it!). They did not do surgery, it healed, and he was back riding again. Of course, he's just a trail rider type, but at his age, I thought it was pretty remarkable. He's a tough old guy!
Broke my pelvis several years ago from a nasty fall after my stirrup leather broke. Mine was not a severe break. I was on crutches for about 10 days...was back riding in about 4-6 weeks...but at walk/trot only. Whenever I tried to canter my groin muscle would go into severe spasms and I had to get off the horse immediately. Doctors missed the torn groin muscle (and I was so bruised and so that I didn't really realize it either). THAT is what hampered my riding the most. Took almost 9 months for it to heal enough that I could tolerate cantering. That was over 10 years ago and even now that muscle will still occasionally seize up on me.
Fractured mine about 10 years ago, had a horse flip on me. I was in the hospital for I think 2-3 weeks, and IIRC no weight bearing activity for 6-8 weeks after that. I didnt have surgery to repair it, just drugs and rest. I did heal crookedly, and as a result have a little difference of leg length, and probably have some internal scar tissue and do anticipate it being an issue in years to come.
My DD broke hers in 5 places and fractured a few vertebra when a friend's horse flipped on her. She was 15 and in great shape as she was a hard core soccer player. She had 6 weeks of mostly bed rest and pain killers, no surgery. Her bones were relatively straight after they broke, the docs said due to her fitness.
After 8 weeks she went back to school with a walker. After 4 months she was allowed to jog and after 5 months she could play soccer again. She didn't need any rehab as all her tendons, etc were fine and she was young. She did go to the chiro/massage place for a few months after she started back at soccer. She doesn't have any lasting effects from the accident.
Unfortunately for you, the docs all told me it was lucky that it was her and not me, that I wouldn't have healed as fast
A good friend of mine at the barn fractured her pelvis this spring in a bad fall. She didn't require surgery and the doctor said nothing was displaced. She was riding again within 7 weeks, but is still sore and it's been 15+ weeks. It is getting better each week though. Doctor said it would take a year before the soreness was completely gone.
I was working for four-star eventer Sharon White when she broke her pelvis. Had been riding in a schooling session with her, saw the fall, and went to the hospital with her in the ambulance (young horse tried to oxer a bounce).
Her fall was in early August, she was in the hospital about two to three weeks as I recall, including surgery to repair the break--her pelvis was essentially snapped in half, and they plated it in multiple places.
She was back teaching from her wheel chair in about a month post-fall, then on her crutches. We put her back on a horse for a pony ride sometime in December or January (can't remember exactly, but I remember it was snowing and we were all bundled up). She was schooling the older horses on the flat by Feb or March, and was getting back on the babies and naughties and jumping by April/May. She started competing around then too, but went slow--took her advanced horses in a prelim to see how she felt.
Of course, being who she is, we did have one incident where a very naughty horse attempted to squish and kill her barn manager, and I look up and Sharon is jumping up on him WAY before she's supposed to be doing anything other than walking. She did get him sorted, but I'll admit I had to play barn Mom and run into the ring saying, "you get off him RIGHT NOW!" And then applied ice packs.
Her response,"Well he has to know it's not Ok to try to kill someone." "Yes, you're right, but that's why we have five people working here--because you don't need to solve it right now.
She said her only real fear moment was that first pony ride--she got up there and went, "OMG, people are right, horses ARE very tall and far from the ground." She said it was almost more about being disoriented at the height than truly scared.
She immediately went in to physical therapy, and the therapist is also a personal trainer, and she continues to work with her to this day. She feels that maintaining her fitness with a mind always towards the trauma she suffered is key to getting back to and maintaing her pre-injury level of performance.
She ran around Rolex the next spring, so you can make a full recovery!
She did about a year and a half later have surgery to have one of her plates removed, as it had always bugged her. Pelvis wise that was fine, she had healed well, but she did get a staph infection post-op and ended up in the hospital for about two weeks. The other plate will be there forever.
My injury was on 6/30 and my surgery to repair the two pelvic wing fractures was on 7/9, so I'm only about 2 weeks past surgery. Went today to have the staples removed and the x-rays looked good, although there is still a big old break that is quite evident. The PA said everything was right where it was supposed to be. She also said no weight bearing until I come back to see the doc on 9/11! That seems like a long time. But she said it was a very bad fracture and I needed to give it time. (She did allude to the fact that younger folks heal quicker!!) She said 3 months for the bones to heal and I could ride at that time as well. Hubby didn't seem too thrilled at that!
I'm religiously doing my exercises, but the PT said the REAL work won't begin until I can put weight on the leg. By that time the PT who now comes to the house will be finished and I'll go to a local facility for some serious work. Then we'll have to see what kind of work I'll need on my head and confidence to get back to eventing.
My husband broke his pelvis 3 summers ago. He had a 2 cm separation and they decided not to do surgery. He's 57 this year. He was on crutches after being in the hospital 2 weeks. It was 3 months to the day before he got on a horse again and that was only to give my horse a tune up. I didn't say anything since I didn't think he'd actually be able to get up there. First time he's ever used a mounting block.
He has recovered reasonably well but his pelvis still occasionally "clunks". He does ride quite a bit but can't ride as many in a day as he used to.
I would take it pretty easy and make sure you do your PT.