Ian Stark undergoes serious pelvis operation to put in four plates and bone graft

  • Ian Stark has undergone a serious pelvis operation to treat an undiagnosed fracture which stems back to his fall from a young horse in the spring last year.

    The horse fell over backwards with the Olympic eventing medallist and cross-country course-designer on 24 April 2016. He was diagnosed with a fractured foot and L1 vertebrae, as well as concussion and internal bleeding.

    “I was told it might take a year to be fully recovered, but I kept saying something was wrong in my groin,” he told H&H. “The doctors kept saying it was just referred pain.

    “Eventually I went private and was sent to a specialist in London. A scan revealed the front of my pelvis had separated and been grinding away and the back had fractured and had a huge bit of calcification where it was trying to heal.”

    Ian underwent an operation on Wednesday, 2 August in London. Plates were put in the front and back of his pelvis, the calcified bone was used to make a bone graft for his pubic symphysis and two plates were put on that too. The four plates will remain in forever.

    Ian went to three surgeons before he found someone willing to perform the operation because it was so complicated and it was eventually carried out by orthopaedic surgeon Mr Martin Bircher.

    “He’s done a brilliant job and he said he put in the double plates because he knows horse people are crazy,” said Ian.

    Continued below…

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    Ian was released from hospital a week after the operation on Wednesday, 9 August and is staying in London until next Wednesday (16 August) when he will have his staples out. He is not allowed to put weight on his right leg for 12 weeks so is on crutches.

    “I can’t ride for six months so that’s the end of my hunting season and it may be a year before I’m 100%,” he said. “If it had been diagnosed straight after the fall I would have been recovered in eight to 10 weeks, but for some extraordinary reason it was missed.”

    Ian has to inject himself in the stomach with blood-thinners daily for six weeks, but will be at Burghley on crutches and a mobility scooter. 

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