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Katie's Story: Horseback Rider Recovers After Unexpected Fall

The Challenge: A Fall From Her Horse

Katie, an avid horseback rider, sustained a concussion in August of 2014 after falling off of her horse. She was briefly unconscious after the fall and then began experiencing symptoms like:

  • Headaches.
  • Vision issues.
  • Dizziness.
  • Fatigue.

It's important to note that a head or brain injury does not have to knock you unconscious in order to produce a concussion. Actually, the majority of people who sustain concussions do not experience unconsciousness.

Katie went to the local ER shortly after her fall. There, doctors diagnosed her with a fractured shoulder and concussion.

The orthopaedic surgeon Katie was seeing for her shoulder referred her to the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program for testing and treatment.

At her first appointment, Katie had a series of in-office tests — including an ImPACT® test — to diagnose her concussion.

The Solution: A Personalized Treatment Plan

Based on her test results, Micky Collins, PhD, and his team designed a personalized treatment plan for Katie.

The plan included both vestibular and ocular therapy to target the vision problems she was having.

Katie was able to complete most of her rehab at home while maintaining an active lifestyle.

She challenged herself to go on walks and spend time outdoors with friends and family.

The Results: Back On Her Horse

In October 2014, Dr. Collins cleared Katie for light riding. She got back on a horse for the first time since her accident, feeling better than she imagined.

“Thank you to Dr. Collins and all of the wonderful therapists who assisted me through the UPMC Concussion Program. With your help, I have been able to get back on my horse with confidence. I feel great and know that I am well on my way to making a full recovery."

To learn more about our patients, read their stories.