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Possible further surgery

It's been a difficult few days as we returned to Basingstoke hospital earlier this week hoping for good news on the latest x-rays of my elbows. Unfortunately they still clearly show multiple fractures as the bones haven't knitted together as well as we'd hoped.


At the time of the initial operations the surgeons were loathed to replace the joints as the long term prospects for elbow replacements are poor, so with the bigger picture in mind they performed two complicated procedures on each elbow which involved pinning, plating, wiring glueing and even stitching the fragments together in order to try to save the bone. However, it was always a concern that this may not work and the joints may need replacing as a final resort. After this week's review they feel that although heeling is still taking place in the left arm, they have run out of ideas with the right and an artificial joint is the only remaining option.


This news was a massive disappointment as everything seemed to be going so well with regaining the range of movement in both arms. The downside of this is the long term repercussions it will have as, unlike hips and knees, elbow joints are complicated and artificial replacements are a rare and relatively untested procedure with a short lifespan so need replacing fairly often. On the upside, the shorter term prospects are good as we will no longer have to wait for the various bits of bone to join so hopefully the recovery from the operation should be fairly quick and I should be able to get back in the saddle within 6 weeks.


Luckily most people don't fancy surgery just before Christmas (apparently hospitals don't do the best Christmas lunches!) so they have managed to squeeze me in at short notice for an operation at the end of this week. This should mean I am able to be competing as normal from the start of the season.


I am extremely lucky to have great support from our team at home as well as trainers Laura Bechtolsheimer and Angela Tucker, so the horses are carrying on with their pre-season build up as normal, which is a huge relief to me.


The decision to do this final operation is a big one so we are now heading to London to get a second opinion as once my elbow has gone in the bin there's no fishing it back out! As things stand we will be back in Basingstoke for a few more days at the end of this week. Rosie is 8.5 months pregnant with our second child - hopefully she can hang on until I'm out otherwise we could be in two separate wards at the same time!

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