Michael Walker to undergo third leg operation in a five days
Star jockey Michael Walker has provided further detail of the excruciating pain he felt while staring down the shocking prospect of having his leg amputated last week as he prepares to go under the knife for the third time in five days on Tuesday.
Walker has been in hospital since last Thursday night after what seemed to be an innocuous fall at Pakenham which left the 25-time Group 1-winning hoop with a fractured fibula and torn ACL.
The injury was made more complicated when Walker developed Compartment Syndrome – a painful and dangerous condition caused by pressure build-up from internal bleeding or swelling of tissues.
It forced the 37-year-old to have emergency surgery last Friday morning as he faced the serious prospect of needing to have his leg amputated.
“I was screaming to them to cut off my leg, it felt like it was going to explode,” Walker said,
“Anything they gave me wouldn't take the pain away.
“I spoke to a few people and a few jockeys have lost their legs through similar things and I needed surgery.
“I was in pain from around 915-930 when it happened (Thursday night) until about 430am on Friday when they finally put me under.”
Michael Walker aboard Odeum winning the Thousand Guineas. Photo: Pat Scala/Racing Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
An incision was made on Walker’s leg from the knee to the ankle to relieve the pressure and he was forced to undergo a second round under the knife on Sunday afternoon.
Surgeons were unable to complete the procedure, forcing Walker to undergo a third round of surgery on Tuesday.
“They attempted to close up the leg yesterday but it was still too swollen,” Walker said.
“I have one more surgery tomorrow (Tuesday) so they can hopefully close it up because if they can’t, there will have to be a fourth surgery and possibly skin grafts.
“I will know more when I open my eyes for the first time on Tuesday.
“The thing is the fall was just nothing so to come out like this is unbelievable.
“I remember the whole thing like it was slow mo. I had time to think about it and then all of the sudden when my feet hit the ground, her back leg came back through and kicked me in the calf.
“Her hitting my calf burst everything inside.”
Walker was desperate to be able to leave hospital at some stage this week to rejoin his family.
The setback is a massive blow for the popular Kiwi hoop, who is facing up to 12 months on the sidelines after the fall.
An inquiry has been opened into the fall however it has been adjourned until Walker is able to give evidence to Victorian stewards.
Walker had enjoyed another successful season in the Melbourne jockeys’ room, adding a Group 1 Thousand Guineas success to his resume aboard Odeum last spring.
Meanwhile, former Victorian apprentice turned South Australian star Jess Eaton is set to make her return to race riding this Saturday at Murray Bridge.
Eaton, who maintains a four win lead at the top of the South Australian metropolitan jockeys’ premiership, has been out since May 1 after falling from Pelonomena in the Port Adelaide Cup at Morphettville.
Originally published asStar jockey screams “cut off my leg”
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