My fantasy world is medievalesque in technology. While healing magic exists, most centaurs do not have realistic access to it. Centaurs are your archetypal human torso, horse body. How long would it take for a centaur leg to heal?

I did some background research and a related question dealt with what kind of crutch they could use, but not the recovery time.

I also found info that a horse's leg (when not put down) takes about 3-8 weeks to heal with 4-6 months rehab. However it's my understanding that a horse is kept practically immobile to prevent them doing more damage and that's with modern medicine. On the contrary my Centaurs cannot afford to be stationary as their tribes follow/lead herds over the plains, which means a centaur with a broken leg will have to me mobile during recovery.

I'm assuming that the difference between front leg or back leg wouldn't be drastically different.

So, to reiterate, how long would medievalesque tech centaurs need to heal a broken leg given their nomadic lifestyle precludes the possibility of bed rest?

  • $\begingroup$ (a) When it comes to fantasy creatures (i.e., creatures that don't actually exist) the healing time is what you, the OP, says it is. (b) On the other hand, why does the healing time of the average horse not fulfill your needs? Why are the problems facing your average horse not the same problems facing a centaur? (BTW, there is a very high chance of this question being closed as primarily opinion-based because, honestly, what reference can we use to give you an answer?) $\endgroup$ – JBH Mar 19 '19 at 6:42
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    $\begingroup$ @JBH "what reference can we use to give you an answer?" Well, for one, we can make a reasonable deduction based on your own example of a horse, making an argument for why a centaur would be similar. Not every question has answers where the exact answer can be backed up by specific references, but that doesn't mean it's not possible to refer to real-world facts and logical deduction in answering the question, and isn't even a requirement unless the question is tagged hard-science. $\endgroup$ – user Mar 19 '19 at 8:05
  • $\begingroup$ Also, and I'm pretty sure I've said this before, if you feel a question is off topic for some reason, you should vote to close. $\endgroup$ – user Mar 19 '19 at 8:07
  • $\begingroup$ Note that horses are usually killed rather than repaired because their leg bones are very different from human bones. It's not simply popping a clean snap back into place and splinting it. Despite being thin, the bones are extremely strong so that they can take the heavy weight of the horse while it is running. This strength also makes them very brittle. I.e. the leg bones are very difficult to break, but when they do they shatter into a large number of very small pieces. Surgery to solve this jigsaw puzzle is complicated, and healing will not result in "good as new" as in human legs. $\endgroup$ – Ray Butterworth Mar 19 '19 at 13:27
  • $\begingroup$ @aCVn, The OP had dismisses the reference to a horse in his question (which is why, later in my comment, I asked why it wasn't suitable). I didn't want to close, I wanted the OP to improve the question. If you don't like the way I comment, you can always flag the comment. $\endgroup$ – JBH Mar 19 '19 at 14:06

The simple answer is, from your own post: 3-8 weeks and 4-6 months of rehab.

When you say that they can't afford to be immobile for that long due to how the tribe is continuously on the move, that's a different issue. That depends on what you as the creator wants, and there are multiple ways to handle that.

  • If you don't want to incorporate that problem into your story, then you can decide that centaurs heal bones to working condition in 1-2 weeks, but require 6-9 months before it's completely fine again.

  • Alternatively, you can make broken bones a serious problem. It is entirely plausible that a broken leg for a centaur mean they're abandoned and left to fend for themselves, likely meaning their death.

  • On the other hand, what's to say centaurs don't carry their wounded population as they move? They're basically horses++, so constructing and pulling carts should be feasible given the level of technology.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for carts. If your centaurs eat something else than grass, they might have to transport whatever they use for prep/cook/preserve food anyways. $\endgroup$ – kikirex Mar 19 '19 at 13:14

Zero time. Because they would be abandoned by the group.
When your mobile creature is immobilised (and it need to be to heal) it become useless.
If you want to force it to move it become burden to whole group because it slows down the whole. Which is counterproductive.
You rule out the options for healing and expect to heal. It's like "If I need to take energy in to live how I can live without taking in energy".

You either need to incorporate the magic healing or deal with regular IRL facts.

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    $\begingroup$ Humans only have two legs and we've managed to work out crutches, walking casts, stretchers, wheelchairs, etc. to maintain our own mobility in the event of injury. I don't see why such innovations should be considered impossible for centaurs. Though they are somewhat horselike, they are in fact persons and social creatures, and it is totally reasonable to assume that at least some efforts would be made to not abandon every injured community member to death over a broken ankle. $\endgroup$ – SudoSedWinifred Mar 19 '19 at 9:02
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    $\begingroup$ @SudoSedWinifred A) medieval b)we have muscles in legs, horses legs don't. c) human left injured, sick or elder people because they slowed down nomadic tribes. If your tribe need to stay in one place for two months and then move very, very slowly then it's not very nomadic anymore. $\endgroup$ – SZCZERZO KŁY Mar 19 '19 at 9:29
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    $\begingroup$ @SudoSedWinifred Yes, but you don't exactly see people with crutches, walking casts, strechers or weelchairs go on long hikes everyday. While we maintain some mobility, it's probably not enough for a nomadic lifestyle. $\endgroup$ – Spoki0 - Reinstate Monica Mar 19 '19 at 9:43
  • $\begingroup$ Nomads aren't totally possessionless. The wheel is stone age technology. There's absolutely NO reason to suppose that a society of nomads could not or would not wheel around an injured buddy on a cart for a few weeks until they could get back on their feet. $\endgroup$ – SudoSedWinifred Mar 20 '19 at 11:10

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