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new here with questions

ajamiesonaajamieson Posts: 65
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi All,

I was thrown from my horse on Monday and have 4 fractured lumbar vertebrae. The ER doc said that several of the transverse processes are broken off my vertebrae too. I am not in a cast but was sent home with dilauded and told it will take a while to recover. I am a 44 yo mother of a 4 year old and very athletic. I know this just happened Monday but the pain is excruciating. I am really worried that I will lose my active life style. I ride horses, cycle, lift weights, and keep really fit. I used to run a lot but my knees got arthritis and I became an avid cyclist. Now I wonder what I will be able to do. I do feel fortunate because it could have been MUCH worse. I could have been paralyzed.

Does anyone out there also have these sorts of fractures? How did you heal? Thank you!


  • You need to get into a spine specialist. I can't believe the doc sent you off without any follow up, that's a serious problem. You may end up having to just heal, but may need a brace, more pain meds, physical therapy, etc. You may need a cement type compound to stabilize the vertebrae.

    Oral dilaudid is not as effective as IV dilaudid, so may not be your best pain choice, either. I would think you would also need some sort of muscle relaxant because the body's natural response would be to tighten up the spinal muscles to protect the injured area(valium is excellent for an acute muscle relaxer.)

    I cannot state strongly enough how much you need follow up by a qualified spine specialist, whether it be an ortho spine surgeon or spine neurosurgeon. If they did not do an MRI, I would think that would be in order to make sure no nerve involvement or fragments of the bone in your spinal canal. You MUST get into someone qualified for follow up, this I personally would consider negligence on the part of the ER for not arranging it or a consult in the ER.

    In the meantime, please try not to do any bending or lifting(not even as much as a gallon of milk) until you see someone qualified to determine what your condition is. If your pain is excruciating, especially if any leg/butt nerve pain, get right back to the ER.

    Please post an update for us, we would really like to know how you are doing.
  • I agree with ernurse. Imperative that you see a spine doc. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. it seems that some follow up is a necessity and soon! the spine is nothing to mess with.. i would get in touch with another doctor very soon. :-C of course that is only my opinion.. good luck and i hope you are feeling better soon! Jenny :)
  • I also agree that you need to take this further asap and in your position, I wouldn't get back on your horse, no matter how much he needs to be ridden!

    Whoever said, 'The spine is not to be messed with' is right, so see someone else (more specialised) and get yourself checked out.

    Bye, Val

  • Hi I was also thrown from a horse on the 17th of August. I went to a clinic in severe pain I was checked and sent home. I went back to the clinic 12 days later, in even more pain. I insisted upon having an x-ray. I was diagnosed with 4 fractures of the transverse processes in l1,2,3. I was given a week to rest and I have since returned to work. I am a teacher and as such I am on my feet all day long and lifting carrying is inevitable...What should I be doing? My pain medication, which never really worked... has run out and the pain is getting a lot worse. I am at my wits end now, this is killing me slowly...HELP!

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    ...above posts for quick follow up.
    You mentioned you are athletic. It's possible docs look at you and make a decision in their head without listening to what you say.

    I can't tell you how many times over the years I have been dismissed because I didn't "present" in the way that got doc's attention.
    So now I talk.. a lot...and let docs know straight up what a mess I am.

    And I think a big part was me..also having difficult time believing I can't do this or that.
    Day by day...I keep accepting the new me and limitations and try to care for myself..no lifting..etc...

    Yours is fresh... and taking care in the here and now is most important. Easier said than done, but try not to worry about future lifestlye or limitations. Taking immediate care of your now will work to protect your future.

    Wishing you all the best
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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