The health and well-being of a horse are important to its rider but what do you do if you have just had a hip replacement but still plan on riding your horse? As riders experience a decline in age, their joints may begin to wear and develop issues. This may be due to underlying conditions, lifestyle, or injury.
Can you still ride your horse after hip replacement? The simple answer is yes, you can. As long as you follow the guidance of your physician and know a lot about the horse that you plan on riding.
For equestrians, horse riding is an essential part of life they won’t trade for anything else. Unfortunately, older riders may develop health conditions that might threaten this activity they love so much.
Arthritis and other joint complications are characterized by pain in the affected area, this pain intensifies the longer the situation goes untreated. Doctors might recommend hip replacement surgery as a remedy to the joint pain.
This usually is a cause for concern amongst horse riders as they worry about how the outcome might affect their ability to ride horses.
There’s no need to be bothered when your doctor suggests you undergo a hip replacement surgery. Many equestrians have had hip replacement surgery and recovered well enough to ride a horse once again. Some people have even had double hip replacements and still made it work.
You get freedom from the pain and also return back to riding, win – win.
Of course, there are some precautionary measures you should adhere to in order to prevent sustenance of further injury like breaking the prosthetic joint. However, you do not necessarily need to abandon horse riding.
Another thing to note is that, while equestrians can return to riding after a hip replacement surgery, it is not advisable for new or intending riders to do so.
This is because older riders are already conversant with the activity and won’t find it difficult to implement any changes they might have to as well as keep themselves from falling off the horse which could lead to further complications.
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Hip Replacement Surgery
Hip replacement is a surgical procedure performed by a surgeon to replace a bad hip joint with a prosthetic one made with metal and plastic.
This is usually the final resort for a patient who experiences intense pain in the hip joint due to complications. This operation alleviates the pain and also makes it easier for the patient to move around afterwards.
The procedure will require you to remain in the hospital for a few days and afterwards, you begin physical therapy.
The therapy will last from anywhere from a few weeks to months depending on how fast you make progress. Ensure to follow the directives of your therapists, including instructions on what to avoid in your day to day activities.
Hip replacement surgeries have been used as a treatment option for years. Every surgical procedure has its own risks. However, it has a high success rate. In addition, hip implants usually last for about 20 years and efforts are being made to improve the quality of implants as well as the procedure so they can last longer.
Avoid crossing your legs for about 6 months to a year. Anything that’ll cause you to twist your hip joint should be avoided, including squatting and bending forward. This prevents the dislocation of the new joint as it heals.
Things you can do at home after Hip Replacement Surgery
- Minimize your climbing of stairs. Ensure you don’t use the stairs more than twice in a day to avoid stressing your new joint.
- Avoid energetic pets, prevent them from jumping all over you
- Elevate your toilet seat so you don’t bend too much when you go
- Keep your floors clutter-free to prevent tripping or falling
- Sit on a sturdy chair with a straight back. Avoid using recliners
Tips To Ensure You Can Get Back To Horse Riding After Hip Replacement
- Find an Experienced Doctor: Hip replacement surgery is a common procedure with a high success rate. Before making an appointment, ensure you and in the right hands. Discuss with your doctor the possibility of getting back to horse riding once you recover. If you are not convinced with the response you get, get another opinion until you are satisfied. Be on the lookout for a surgeon with years of experience. You are placing your riding future in his/her hands, so you have the right to investigate. The right doctor with vast experience will guide you through the pre and post-surgical processes without dashing your hopes of getting back to horse riding once you are fully recovered. Also, you will be assured of a successful procedure when in the hands of an experienced surgeon.
- Adhere to the Doctor’s instructions: Definitely, your doctor will walk you through the entire process and what is required of you before and after the surgical procedure. Strictly adhere to the doctor’s instructions as they will determine the success of the operation as well as the speed of your recovery. Do not miss examination or therapy sessions, do the exercises you are asked to without fail. This will ensure you are back to yourself without the pain you felt prior to the surgery.
- Remember Everyone’s healing process differs: Some persons say they were able to return to horse riding in a few weeks after the surgery while others have to wait months before full recovery. Remember that your body is different, focus on healing at your own pace. Do not compare your progress with that of another. Also, ensure you consult the opinion of your doctor before you get back to the saddle even if you feel you’ve fully recovered.
- Avoid High-impact Sports: Those who have had hip replacement are not advised to indulge in high-impact sports such as running. High-impact activity places a great strain on the joint causing it to wear quicker than it should. However, low-impact activities like horse riding and cycling are recommended once you are fully recovered. You will be able to keep yourself fit with little stress on the joints. Horse riding is only ideal for those already into it and not for newbies who’d probably never ridden a horse before. Also before engaging in any of these activities, the consent of your doctor is needed.
- Avoid Falling: While you will be able to take horse rides once you’ve recovered from surgery, you will need to exercise more caution than usual. Falling off the horse might break your prosthetic hip joint. This can be avoided by strictly riding on safe grounds. Also, ensure your horse is properly trained. Do not venture into risky terrains to avoid falling. Horse riding after a hip replacement surgery is a risk most equestrians are willing to take. However, it is best to exercise caution to prevent complications. Also, ensure you are patient with your progress when you begin riding again to keep you off the ground.
Can you still ride your horse after hip replacement? The simple answer is yes, you can. If you play your cards right, you will be back to the saddle in a few months tops.
Your range of motion might reduce, but you should rejoice at the possibility of being able to ride at all.
Summarily, all you need to ensure your successful recovery is to find an experienced surgeon, follow instructions from your therapists and surgeon, and attend all appointments. In no time, you’ll be back to riding again. Don’t forget to keep safe while you do so.