For those with b*ggered ankles...

mini_b

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After breaking both ankles I need a sensible plan for getting back on board for as far as I’m concerned as soon as I’ve got the ok from the hospital to start walking, I’ll be hopping on.

after being laid on my back for 2 months I won’t be riding fit never mind walking fit. I’m also a bit small for him at best of times. (Enough leg but had to put on a few quid of muscle for me to ride the big bugger effectively)

Please give me some success stories as ankle breaks seem to be fairly common amongst you lot and I need to know some realistic recovery stories; rather than going on what an un-horsey non sports NHS physio is going to tell me.
That is no slight on the profession but they just want me to walk properly not mess about jumping on my horse etc.
 

The Fuzzy Furry

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Start on leg muscle exercises now.
Eg, lie on floor and do leg lifts, cycle legs, sit ups - anything that gets you using core and lower back muscles as well as thighs and calfs.
I started on week 3 of break and increased my DIY exercises to several times a day, just slowly but by the time I was having cast off I was already feeling much stronger.
Got on 2 days after cast off but with plenty of strapping on.
Good luck and hope they heal well x
 

Billyandme

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Firstly don't try and be too gung ho about the situation and not listen to what the doctor tels you to.do. I shattered my right ankle and it is held in place by an impressive amount of pins and screws. The best money I spent was by seeing an excellent private physio. Where I live you can't even see an NHS physio. You just get sent a leaflet with some exercises to do at home. Take it slowly an build up exercise tolerance. The worst bit for riding I find is getting on and off. Good luck.
 

cold_feet

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Second the advice about private physio, although last time I needed it (ankle) i got very good nhs physio. I also was keen to get Riding, but don’t skimp on learning to walk properly - that really is most important, especially with both ankles 😱😱
 

Trouper

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If you can get in a pool somewhere there is a lot you can do without weight-bearing too much. Any physio should be able to give you some water exercises to do there.
 

Sprout

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I thought I had just sprained mine, so hobbled around and just ignored it. Found out too many months later there was a fracture and torn ligaments! So now an out patient at Rehab and also having private physio too. Religiously doing all my exercises, and reluctantly following advice not to ride just yet as it causes a lot more pain and swelling and undoes all the good work.
Good Luck with your healing programme.
 

Midlifecrisis

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I would echo the above…I didn’t get private physio..just a sheet of paper of exercises but I kind of made up my own. Take time to walk well and build strength before riding…definitely dismounting is worth taking care over.
 

Pinkvboots

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Mine was snapped in 2 places so have a plate and screws and I ruptured every bit if tendon and ligament so it was like a balloon, I also lost the walk reflex in my foot and that took ages to get back.

Standing on a small step and pushing your heal down then up really helped mine, squats to help the calf as the muscle was non existent, resistance bands were also good you can do those watching tv.

My leg was so weak it used to tremble when I first started riding it had a mind of it's own for a long time.
 

1523679

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- Physio
- Daily massage (ask physio to show you how)
- after preliminary rehab, using a wobble cushion (widely available from Amazon etc) - I use mine while I’m cleaning my teeth & use the toothbrush timer to time my wobbling
- get flexi stirrups
- use cohesive bandage (human vetwrap) to support during rehab

Source - multiple ankle breaks & ruptured ligaments; my ankles are shot to sh*t

Good luck x
 

Sir barnaby

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I was pin and plated for shattered ankle and lower leg, I still have the plate in but not the screws they were removed, I was very lucky the surgeon did such a good job I didn't need any after care physio but was told not to ride for a year, I lasted 9 months then rode and it was a struggle mentally not physically as I was expecting to fall at any point and it happen again, I think this lasted for quite some time, I never really got back into SJ jumping although I did go hunting and did a team chase, I bought sprenger stirrups which helped a lot and there are some new ones on the market my leg is still very weak, and my right leg is definitely shorter than my left, I struggle to put narrow boots on too so choose wider fitting ones, this was all of twenty years ago and it is still very fresh in my mind
 

mini_b

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Thank you all - I’m planning on getting off onto a block!
How did you all find starting jumping again?
i usually ride quite short as well...I suppose all that’s going out of the window for now!
 

Pearlsasinger

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Another here who was pinned and plated 13 years ago and just recovering now from having a frame on the opposite ankle. I took time before getting back on but I was in my 50's. I had a very good natured Clydesdale who did all that she could to help me to get on, she would have knelt down, if she could have done. I dismounted onto a mounting block and bought some flexible stirrups. I found private physio helpful after the NHS provision.
This time my horse is much more green than last time and I have tried to get back on yet. I am still having NHS physio but am finding that actually walking seems to be the best therapy.
 

The Fuzzy Furry

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My tip is to think carefully about the boots you wear for riding - they need to give ankle support but also be easy to get into out of if you have reduced flexibility.
This!
I started back in zipped jodh boots and gaiters as were easier to get on - and gave me the best support, better than my long boots of any type.
 

pixie

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Make sure you have a very high mounting block, so that you can get on by putting your leg over, rather than using a stirrup. We built our own with a top step that is 4ft high after one of our liveries had her hips replaced.
Also, when you do start riding, ride without stirrups :)
 

Fransurrey

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Agree about the boots. I never used to have proper long riding boots, but bought some Ariats after breaking my ankle in 2019. Also agree with finding a swimming pool or if you're near the sea, get a tow float and take up open water swimming! I've always found swimming so much more effective than any physio.
 

mini_b

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I’m going to try swimming, I won’t be able to go to work full time straight away as I have a physical job. I’ve got plenty of days off to do a bit of swimming, walking, sit on the pony.

I prefer long boots as my ankle rolls slightly anyway in short boots. If I can’t get them on I do have a pair and someone recommended some splint things to ride in which I bought.
 

Gloi

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I am trying to get riding again after re-damaging a ligament this spring. I went away with pony last month on holiday and did too much and set things back. I wear a brace all the time and Some orthopedic insoles and can now walk reasonably now. Unfortunately if I ride faster than walk they still hurt and hurt more the next days so I need patience. not been a good year for riding, I was ill then pony was off with a respiratory virus for a few weeks then I got injured ☹️
 
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