Rehab (fractured femur)—keeping spirits up

I’ve now joined the many equines who sport jewelry—I took a bad fall on Sunday and after a three hour surgery now have a steel rod in my thigh. Right now I’m dealing with what I believe is acute care, to be followed by short-term rehab, to be followed by visiting providers at home.

Four years ago a had a hairline pelvic fracture, which I recovered astoundingly well from—I was riding in 3 months and never had any problems. I’m in very good physical shape and do a lot of off-horse fitness activities—weights, Pilates, yoga etc—but I’m now over 60 and looking at a much more significant rehabilitation.

For those of you who have gone through this, how did you keep yourself sane horse wise (or skiing wise, same issue there) I was finally making some progress, adjusted for my Age—found a great barn and was about to lease a horse for the first time (I live in New York City and owning/leasing just hasn’t been financially possible before But the barn is an hour each way from my house, and who knows when I ll even be driving—it’s not like I can just drop by.

obviously I have a lot to be thankful for, including good health insurance, but I m pretty bummed out. If anyone has gone through something similar and has any thoughts, takeaways, or activities that might help, I d appreciate it very much. Thanks in advance!

Raises hand to you. Femur broken into 3 pcs at lower head/knee. No surgery but removeable cast for almost a year, hobbled around for a year on a walker and one leg. What kept me sane, honestly, was I had a farm, horses, dog and cats to attend to. Many days I didn’t feel up to dealing with them but I pushed on. I also used my small lawn tractor to zoom around the farm.

Be very careful with weight bearing and don’t do more than you’re supposed to. Learn to watch and feel for blood clots.
I’m much older than you but was also in great shape but this injury can really knock you down. the key is to get a little better
today than you were yesterday. And be grateful it wasn’t your head that got broken.
PM me if you have a specific questions or if you just need more support. I do feel for you. But it does get better.

Thanks Marla, good advice, I hadn’t thought about blood clots after I leave the hospital. Frankly I’d be better off in some ways if I had cats/dogs/horses to attend to—it’s the absence of these(well, my boyfriend has a very mean ex-feral cat that’s taken a liking to me) that is the problem. I m a working professional, horseless adult amateur, typical story, didn’t have financial resources to ride seriously when I was younger, making up for lost time now—leasing was a big deal for me. I do have access to the north Salem/Bedford area, so maybe I can turn up something there.

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its hard for sure. i had a stroke 4 years ago with 1 week in hospital, 4 weeks in rehab, then a couple months outpatient PT before returning to work. by that time my OTTB was downright feral and i needed professional help to get him to a level i could even consider riding him.

I did a LOT of visualization. picturing in my mind where we’ll go and what we’ll do when the time comes. imagining the feel of the saddle and reins. i had the lucky option to ride my mom’s bombproof mare (and teared up the first time back in the saddle), but visualizing helped a lot.

more recently i got one of those saddle stools, so when i’m sewing or doing indoor projects i can still be working on my form and balance. its not great, but every little bit helps i guess.

i find watching equestrian events makes me ache, but everyone is different, maybe signing up for the broadcast horse channels will help?

best wishes for a full recovery and many future rides <3

For fun and to keep your mind off things while simultaneously still getting some horse content in one way or another, watch all the terrible, terrible horse movies and TV shows while you’re more or less immobile! ALL OF THEM! Books, too. At least with some good fall/winter weather, it’ll be horse-themed cozin’.

I’m 40yo, had never had a serious injury before in my life, so when I broke my wrist and needed surgery ASAP after a bad fall at the beginning of SIP, I had a hard time picturing what recovery and riding eventually would look like. I was more scared of being scared than anything else (if that makes sense). The first time I did PT, I ended up weeping in a little sad pile on the living room floor, but then I worked through it and watched my ROM and strength improve every day. The rest of the time, I was not above watching horse TV aimed at teenagers, LOL.

I know it doesn’t feel like it, and you’re a little older/wiser and the injury trickier, but all that fitness will help you along and you’ll absolutely get there. Hang in there. You’ve had practice making up for lost time; this is just a little setback.

Are there any hunts upstate or a reasonable driving distance away, by chance? Perhaps by Thanksgiving or thereabouts, you’ll be up for a little crispy country drive and watching from the car (I forget the technical term). I bet that would be thrilling to see and really beautiful, no matter what discipline you’re riding!

Thanks dearsalter, car following a hunt is a great idea! Or even reaching out to the Bedford Trails and lanes association, which has a big local presence