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Fractured Neck of Femur/Pinning Recovery Thread

Equestrian40

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Hi all!

I was tossed off my horse on September 16th, breaking my femoral neck. It was two firsts in one moment for me. I’d never broken a bone before, and in over 25 years of riding (I’m 35 now), this was my first time getting thrown off of one. So lovely that I was in the middle of competing at a show, too. Something scared him very badly as he’s normally a very calm, cool guy.

I had the hip pinning done about 5-6 hours after the accident occurred. The show was about a mile from a major hospital, so that was convenient at least. I now have three screws in my hip.

My first follow up appointment was two weeks after the surgery. I saw the surgeon’s assistant (they were wayyyy behind as I waited almost 90 minutes in a room). They took an x-Ray, and it seemed like they were happy to see new bone growth underway. He showed it to me on the X-ray, and I definitely could see it. I was told then to stay toe touch weight bearing for another month at least before my next appointment. That is on November 3rd.

I currently have no pain most of the time. I use a walker most often, though I’m starting to use crutches more. Said horse that tossed me competes at the US National Championship next week, and using crutches to get around there would be much better.

I’ve had next to no guidance as far as what I can/should not do as far as recovery exercises, movements, etc. It’s quite frustrating. I did see a physical and occupational therapist both of the days I was in the hospital after, so they did give me some handy exercises to do. There’s been very little talk as to what’s normal and what’s not as far as twinges, soreness, etc. As I said, I have very low pain most of the time. When do I worry? Is it sharp pain? Pain that lasts? Stiffness? I know, partially my fault for not asking, but two weeks after the surgery was almost too soon for me to develop more useful questions, lol.

So far, if it feels achy or sore, I’ve just taken it easy the next day or even the rest of that day, and then it’s back to no pain after that. I’m only taking Tylenol in the morning and before bed, and that’s been sufficient. I have a pretty high pain tolerance in general. Only thing I can’t do at this point is put a sock on that foot. I can get one off, though. Beyond that, I can get around my house excellently and do most of the normal things I need to do.

Is there anything I absolutely need to know or avoid or do? Anything? I think anyone going through the hip pinning is scared of AVN, and reading things on the internet doesn’t help that worry. After my last appointment, they acted like I could be back on a horse (I have 6!) in four months. I’ll just be glad to be back on my feet soon, hopefully.
 

Layla

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Hello and Welcome. Thanks for joining us! I’m so very sorry to read of your unfortunate accident and resulting injury. I found a link to other members threads that dealt with the same type of injury, followed by pinning, thanks to our administration posting it for another.
Here is the link to an index of threads that might be helpful for you. You can search by any prefix by finding a thread with the prefix you want, and clicking on the prefix icon. The search will bring up all threads with that prefix. In this case I searched for "Fractured neck of femur/Pinning."

I’ll also leave our Hip Recovery Guidelines of which much will apply for you.
I wish you comfort and hope you’ll stop back often to share your progress. We’ll be here for you.

As you begin healing, please keep in mind that each recovery is unique. While the BoneSmart philosophy successfully works for many, there will be exceptions. Between the recommendations found here, your surgeon's recovery protocol and any physical therapy you may engage in, the key is to find what works best for you.

Hip Recovery: The Guidelines
1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary

2. Control discomfort:
rest
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​

3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.

4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these

5. Here is a week-by-week guide

6. Access to these pages on the website

Pain management and the pain chart
Healing: how long does it take?
Chart representation of THR recovery

Dislocation risk and 90 degree rule
Energy drain for THRs
Pain and swelling control: elevation is the key
Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

BIG TIP: Hips actually don't need any exercise to get better. They do a pretty good job of it all on their own if given half a chance. Trouble is, people don't give them a chance and end up with all sorts of aches and pains and sore spots. All they need is the best therapy which is walking and even then not to excess.

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask the at each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
 
OP
OP
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Equestrian40

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Joined
Oct 18, 2021
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United States United States
Checking in again! I had my six week follow up at just under seven weeks, and everything seems to be healing well. I’m still in basically no pain.

My surgeon is having me add 25% weight each week to the leg, and he gave me more stretching exercises to do at home. He’s not sending me to physical therapy at this point, which I did find odd. He said if I struggle to add weight over the next month, then he’ll recommend it. I think a week or so would’ve been nice to help get a feel for adding weight, but I’m managing so far. I’ve found it easier to add weight when using the walker than the crutches.
 

Layla

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Hello @Equestrian40
Thanks for taking the time to share an update. It’s good to hear you’re doing well.
Stay in touch and have a nice weekend!
 

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