The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 25, 2004
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    1,519

    Default Grade 3 Osteoarthritis in Knee & Riding?

    Hey Everyone!

    I figured I would venture this way and put up a post to see how others with osteoarthritis ride.

    History:
    I'm a 24 yr old former rider who has grade 3 osteoarthritis in my knee from a riding accident in 2005. I blew out my PCL & PLC after I was kicked by another horse during a competition (like in the ring showing ;-) ) I had surgery in 05 and had massive problems post surgery. I'm now at another doc who is amazing but there is basically nothing to be done for me. I stopped riding 2 years ago because I couldn't "trust" my leg anymore to stay where it needed to and I was mentally a wreck also. I've had a scope in '07 where it was found that my knee was a mess. Since then I've battled with pain problems and have tried everything to help. I'm on Celebrex as needed, Lidocaine patches, and Voltaren Gel. I've had Synvisc & Supartez shots and a cortisone shot. Nothing helped :-( The talk of a replacement has come up but we all want to wait until I am at least 30 and hopefully longer.

    I rode for 16 years (Hunters & Equitation) and it is what I wanted to do with my life. After I stopped riding (during college) I went on to get another Bachelor's and am now finishing up my Masters and am looking for a big girl job. I worked for a while after I stopped riding at an equine hospital so I was still around horses and I live in Kentucky so they are everywhere. I moved to Europe for my Masters and was only around horses occasionally and I missed it terribly. The horse I used to lease is up for retirement and I am planning on taking him once I get settled into a job (need the money first!). It has gotten me thinking about riding again.

    Unfortunately I can't put the pressure on my knee to ride like I used to. The horse I will be getting is having some issues also (almost foundered) and will need to be ridden more than I can possibly handle (I will get a rider for him).

    How do those with severe knee issues ride? Do you feel like you have support from your leg? Is there something you tried that helped?

    I tried riding with a brace after surgery but it made me feel less secure. I heard of people who have loved the flex stirrups. I tried them before my knee surgery and it made me feel very unsecure especially over fences. Does anyone else have this problem?

    Sorry for the slight rambling, I feel like that is my life now ;-) Just wanted to see what others were doing!
    "The horse you get off f is not the same horse you got on. It is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible, the change is for the better" - unknown author



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2006
    Posts
    921

    Default General suggestions......

    And these are only general based on my experience treating like patients......

    Focused off horse strengthening program
    Single leg Straight knee heel raise
    Isometric Quads
    "Dead lifts" to teach you how to increase hip function.
    Bent knee side plank for hip abductors.
    MAYBE closed chain abduction/adduction

    Ride without stirrups, period.

    Lots of work in front of you. Best of luck and hope your knee holds out until 30!

    REgards
    Medical Mike
    equestrian medical researcher
    www.equicision.com



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 25, 2004
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    1,519

    Default

    Thanks Mike!! I'm in PT right now working on leg strengthening if this doesn't work then in August/Sept we're going to scope and clean my knee again. Unfortunately my quad has never been the same since my first surgery :-( I had major issues post surgery and my left quad is significantly weaker than my right even with quad strengthening exercises.

    I'm assuming since no one else responded no one with Osteoarthritis rides? What a bummer :-(
    "The horse you get off f is not the same horse you got on. It is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible, the change is for the better" - unknown author



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2006
    Posts
    921

    Default OA and riders are not uncommon.......

    Just that there is not much to do beyond stated.

    Best of luck,
    Medical Mike
    equestrian medical researcher
    www.equicision.com



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008
    Location
    Orlean, Va
    Posts
    2,058

    Default alternative approach- stem cell

    Have you looked into stem cell procedures? I know that they are regenerating tissue in knees, now. My stem cell guru has done wonders on my back.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2009
    Posts
    72

    Default

    I have level 3 arthritis in both knees, I am on similar meds but my PT is compounded by previous stress and compression fractures to my back. I have opted out of surgery for the moment because for a while at least I would be in a wheel chair and at 24 I cannot accept that.

    I ride 5x a week. I have a TBx and we trail, do dressage, and we are starting to event. Yes it hurts, for me there is no worry of compensating b/c both sides are bad. What I find is esp. after jumping I need to ride w/o stirrups. And the stronger my core is the better my legs feel. I hate the feeling of joined stirrups but recently have learned of a brand that has a larger foot pad and is gel cushioned to absorb impact. I will post a link later. I want to get a pair and see if they help. I also NEVER get on from the ground - I will climb the larger xc fences if I have to get back on while on course and schooling, my horse is 16.3 and for me thats not going to happen. I also compensate by keeping most of my other work outs as low impact as possible. I am also trying to loose 30 lbs - have taken off 18 so far and the difference is AMAZING!!!

    My horse is also VERY light in the bridle - I probably could not ride a leaner or puller. If you want to do it, it can be done, not without pain and sacrifice, but it can be done. I think it is great that you posted as I dont know, personally, of anyone else that is attempting to ride competitively that has similar issues.

    I also get off and hand walk my cool downs no matter how stiff and in pain I am b/c if I don't I will be in too much pain at the end of the day. I think the biggest thing is to know your body - I am going on a 3-4 hour trail ride on Sat - I am going in my dressage saddle and I have lots of anti-inflammatory with me. But I know hoe my body will respond to that so I know how to prepare and decompress afterward.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 25, 2004
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    1,519

    Default

    Thanks for the info Moukoyui! Good to know that people can still ride with this. :-) Now this fall the struggle will begin to get back into some sort of riding shape!!!

    I hope those new stirrups work for you. Let me know!
    "The horse you get off f is not the same horse you got on. It is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible, the change is for the better" - unknown author



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008
    Location
    Orlean, Va
    Posts
    2,058

    Question

    Are these stirrups ones that are used for endurance? The endurance ones are the widest and most cushioned that I have seen. I'm interested in anything that will help with foxhunting this Fall.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2009
    Posts
    564

    Default

    If your knee just can't support riding, have you thought about driving? I thought I was going to have to give up horses altogether due to rheumatoid arthritis (knees, feet, ankles, hands, shoulders, elbows--you name the joint, it probably hurts!). I was hitting the dirt regularly because my poor battered body just would not cooperate.

    I took up driving and have a wonderful time with my horses. And just as with riding, you can be as competitive as you want.

    Rebecca



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 25, 2004
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    1,519

    Default

    I've driven Saddlebreds in pleasure driving. I didn't like that very much.

    I am interested in combined driving but right now I have no extra money to take the lessons. I'm interested in riding again because I am getting a horse this fall whom I do not think would handle a cart very well....he scares himself pretty easy! :-)
    "The horse you get off f is not the same horse you got on. It is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible, the change is for the better" - unknown author



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Should I ride with osteoarthritis?

    I am a 46 year-old who has about three consecutive years of riding experience. I used to ride 1-2x per week, beginning dressage and some jumping over relatively small jumps. I am still a beginner. Maybe I'll always be a beginner for that matter. Nevertheless, there is something about the whole experience that I just love. I truly respect and love horses and the people who work with them. My issue is that I have not ridden for about two years due to pain from what I was told by my doctor was osteoarthritis, despite my x-rays coming back as normal. I have also had a significant weight gain, which I know is bad. Before I had physical therapy, the pain was so bad in my knees that one of them gave out (not on a horse, thankfully, but on the ground). I would love to be able to continue my journey as an equestrian and work on increasing my skill level - but I too have wondered if and how someone should ride with osteoarthritis. My doctors and physical therapists always say it is okay to ride, but I know they are not equestrians and probably believe that all you do on a horse is just sit atop of them. Obviously, even high-level riders have a certain amount of repetitive bouncing when riding, and the effects of riding on a rider's pain depends on the smoothness of the horse's gaits, as well as the duration and type of riding. And, even if you are a beginner, the pain could be a safety concern as it could prevent you from staying in proper form. One of my biggest concerns is the inevitable fall. More trauma on arthritic bones and joints is never good. I don't know - what do you think? The whole equestrian thing is so difficult to give up. I get so attached to the horses - even if they are school horses. Sorry for the rambling, but I would love to discuss this issue with people who are actually equestrians. As I mentioned before, I am a beginner, but not a layperson. I know enough to know that there is a lot that I don't know - if that makes sense, and that my doctor's advice may not be informed advice because they are not equestrians. People always mention driving - that would be fun to learn, I think. But, it is not the same as riding. Any suggestions or thoughts?



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 25, 2006
    Location
    Overland, MO
    Posts
    1,351

    Default

    I believe Celebrex should be taken every day, not "as needed" because it takes some time to build up it's effectiveness. It didn't help me at all, but I do take daily anti-inflammatories and have had 3 knee replacements so far (I'm anatomically gifted). You can get "Cloud stirrups" which provide a much wider footbed and makes riding a lot easier. Work on strengthening your quads. Also, ice packs are your best friend, and put them on your knees whenever you can --- at night, when you get home from work or riding, etc. Acupuncture can help. And you may need to change your riding style for at least the time being, or maybe if you're into riding idiots, ride quieter horses. :-) You really don't want to fall and mess up your knees any worse!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2011
    Posts
    1,395

    Default Not getting any younger myself....

    ....so goes the osteoarthitis. I do not ever recall a time the knees did not complain. Not to mention other parts. Tho I suffer not as badly as you.

    I do not know what I'll ever do without my Ariat Terrians. Gosh do they save my mobility. My Redwing loggers are just as wonderful, but way too much boot to use daily or riding. Summers that have hard dry ground like this one are the worst (quick call the farrier she needs shock pads). I avoid just about any other pair of shoes or boots I own for any length of time. My knees tell me about it in the evenings if I digress and wear trendier shoes.

    I trail ride. And long rides sometimes.....very long. I get off sometimes and walk. Sometimes I drop stirrups. Tho I am a western rider I actually prefer Arabs and Morgans to stock types. I can easily use a post variation and keep those knees working a bit. Much better than sitting there for lengthy periods of time and enduring a trot with my legs stiff....stiffer...even stiffer still.

    A few decades ago when I was carrying my son I gained a mere 22lbs total. The knees screamed after the 1st 15lbs. So I do my best as I age to keep the waistline in check. That gets harder with age!

    Every once in a while (just like now) I truly do not hurt anywhere. It is very nice. Much of the time when I do hurt I can ignore it and keep moving. A great doctor is the best advice. And always in the back of my mind are my grandmothers words. She said to me once if you are hurting then at least you know you are still alive.

    Oh and one last thing....I seem to like shorter horses these days. What was I thinking a decade ago with those 16 plus hand horses??!!?!! 14.3 to 15.1 works for me! And in my old age I told the hubby I want a 13.2 hd sturdy pony.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    653

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by D Taylor View Post
    ....so goes the osteoarthitis. I do not ever recall a time the knees did not complain. Not to mention other parts. Tho I suffer not as badly as you.

    I do not know what I'll ever do without my Ariat Terrians. Gosh do they save my mobility. My Redwing loggers are just as wonderful, but way too much boot to use daily or riding. Summers that have hard dry ground like this one are the worst (quick call the farrier she needs shock pads). I avoid just about any other pair of shoes or boots I own for any length of time. My knees tell me about it in the evenings if I digress and wear trendier shoes.

    I trail ride. And long rides sometimes.....very long. I get off sometimes and walk. Sometimes I drop stirrups. Tho I am a western rider I actually prefer Arabs and Morgans to stock types. I can easily use a post variation and keep those knees working a bit. Much better than sitting there for lengthy periods of time and enduring a trot with my legs stiff....stiffer...even stiffer still.

    A few decades ago when I was carrying my son I gained a mere 22lbs total. The knees screamed after the 1st 15lbs. So I do my best as I age to keep the waistline in check. That gets harder with age!

    Every once in a while (just like now) I truly do not hurt anywhere. It is very nice. Much of the time when I do hurt I can ignore it and keep moving. A great doctor is the best advice. And always in the back of my mind are my grandmothers words. She said to me once if you are hurting then at least you know you are still alive.

    Oh and one last thing....I seem to like shorter horses these days. What was I thinking a decade ago with those 16 plus hand horses??!!?!! 14.3 to 15.1 works for me! And in my old age I told the hubby I want a 13.2 hd sturdy pony.
    You need to try a gaited horse...they are much easier on the knees!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2011
    Posts
    1,395

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cordial View Post
    You need to try a gaited horse...they are much easier on the knees!
    Nope,sorry been there. Walkers, Fox trotters, gaited Morgans, SB's, Rockies... I have ridden them. I care not to thanks. Unless I get paid, then I ride them. I'll keep my WTC horses.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2005
    Location
    Newark, DE
    Posts
    179

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by D Taylor View Post
    Nope,sorry been there. Walkers, Fox trotters, gaited Morgans, SB's, Rockies... I have ridden them. I care not to thanks. Unless I get paid, then I ride them. I'll keep my WTC horses.
    Can you please expand a bit on why not? I was thinking a TWH might be a good option because of my age and OA....



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    13,117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by whicker View Post
    Are these stirrups ones that are used for endurance? The endurance ones are the widest and most cushioned that I have seen. I'm interested in anything that will help with foxhunting this Fall.

    I don't jump but LOVE these
    http://shop.thinlineglobal.com/produ...0.0.0.0?pp=12&
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2003
    Location
    Orlean, Virginia
    Posts
    2,959

    Thumbs up jmho!

    As a nurse with this problem I can say that you've gotten some good suggestions here. I'd like to add:
    1. First, Celebrex MUST be taken daily. It is NOT a PRN or "as needed" kinda med. It takes up to 3-6 weeks of daily doses before maximum effect is felt! I took it for years and kept foxhunting but stopped jumping.
    2-You may have to change the kind of riding you are doing. No more jumping for example. Every time you wrench your knee the worse it gets. Avoid jolting/jostling your knee.
    3. Get some kind of shock absorbing stirrup iron. Cashel cushions makes a foam foot attachment or get some Easy Rider stirrups. Both come in english. Shock is your knees enemy.
    4. Wear shock absorbing shoes whenever/whereever you can. No more high heels. Sneakers are your friend. Jogging shoes better!. Even wear to work & around home.
    5. Avoid uneven ground or surfaces to walk on or walk carefully on them. Never run on a grassy field. If you ARE going for hike/walk in the countryside then get/use a hiking stick or cane or walking stick to steady you. Use on the opposite side of your bad knee. It can take weight off your bad leg.
    6. Get a PT that is equestrian oriented and understands your sport. Ask them for guidance. Follow their fitness recommendations.
    7. Get/use a mounting block coming and going 100% of the time. NEVER jump down. Never jump period!
    8. Get/keep your weight down.
    9. Ride long ie: routinely ride 2 holes longer or dressage/western length.
    Most importantly; you need to change your riding for awhile or even permanently to accomodate this. It's not going away. But many of us find very fulfilling equestrian fun after the wild activities of our youths. In fact; some of us even wonder why we ever did that stuff!! Even tho' you are so young; you are facing what a lot of us older riders are facing everyday....coping with a decrepitude! I'm sorry. But there IS fun to be had after decrepitudes! Lotsa fun! Go forth...ride (albeit carefully!) and be happy!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 17, 2009
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    169

    Default

    wateryglen those are excellent points and I'm taking them all down as I'm 43 and almost six months out now from a TKR due to bone on bone degenerative osteoarthritis and a very bad maltracking patella, the right knee is not as bad but not good either. I switched to a shorter 14.1 hand fjord a few years back and mostly just do easy trails and some arena work, don't post anymore at all. Have used a three step mounting block for years too. After my TKR though I'm finding that my passion and enthusiasm for riding is waning and I recently purchased an experienced small driving pony and will be taking driving lessons with him. No its not the same as riding but can be as or more challenging in certain areas such as dressage and cones work so I'm looking forward to broadening my horizons. Just wanted to thank you for all the good points you made and I'll be talking to my OS about possibly taking celebrex for my other knee as well as a wonky lower back that I suspect is arthritic as well, if I could have a "do-over" I would have definitely taken things much more cautiously and carefully in my youth and am trying to instill that in my son now.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2011
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    11

    Default

    I just found this thread, and appreciate the good advice offered. I was diagnosed with knee OA just last week, and had cortisone injections. Also have pes anserine bursitis in the right knee. Can't tell if they worked or not yet, but haven't really tested the knees yet either.
    I had a half-lease on one of my trainer's horses, but asked her for a break in order to heal. I've been grounded for a month, (hence spending lots of time on COTH and am looking forward to starting up again in Sept.

    *Why* had I never thought of using the mounting block to dismount, too?? My lease horse is 17h, and I had begun to dread the end of lesson dismount. It's encouraging to read that so many of you are being creative about addressing your "decrepitudes" so you can keep riding. I'm definitely going to the tack store this week to look for cushioned/wrapped stirrups.
    ===============
    It's never too late to have a happy childhood.



Similar Threads

  1. Osteoarthritis - what can you share?
    By alittlextra in forum Equestrians with Disabilities
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: Dec. 27, 2012, 12:27 PM
  2. riding after a knee replacement
    By igottapaint in forum Equestrians with Disabilities
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: May. 3, 2012, 05:10 PM
  3. Cervical osteoarthritis
    By gettingbettereveryday in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Jan. 27, 2011, 03:52 PM
  4. Riding after knee replacement?????
    By CelticRiverDance in forum Off Course
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: Jan. 7, 2011, 01:13 PM
  5. Riding After Knee Surgery
    By debkamp in forum Equestrians with Disabilities
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Oct. 29, 2009, 10:18 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •