Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Ankle FAQ


I broke my ankle when I was thrown from my horse. I had to have surgery to pin the bones together. Now that the cast is off I'd like to go horseback riding again. Is this allowed?


You'll want to check with your surgeon about this question. Returning to previous levels of activities like horseback riding may not be allowed until full healing has occurred. This is especially true if there are metal pins, screws, or plates in the joint.

Most expert riders agree a dorsiflexed ankle is important in riding. This means your toes are pointing up and your heels are pressed down while in the stirrups. When the motion in the healing ankle is within five degrees of the other ankle, then activities like horseback riding may be allowed.

You may want to think about buying some breakaway or safety stirrups. If your horse falls, spooks, or throws you, the stirrups drop off the saddle. Your feet won't get stuck in the stirrups while you get dragged around or crushed by the horse.

Anne M. Moseley, PhD, et al. Passive Stretching Does Not Enhance Outcomes in Patients with Plantarflexion Contracure after Cast Immobilization for Ankle Fracture: A Randomized Controlled Trial. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. June 2005. Vol. 86. No. 6. Pp. 1118-1126.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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