Broken bones #3

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Harry Spatz, Mar 1, 2003.

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  1. Harry Spatz

    Harry Spatz Guest

    Some of you may remember that I broke my fibula and tibia (compound fracture) on Dec 25, 2002 while
    riding my Barcroft Dakota. I got 9 screws and a plate which internally reduced the injury. I fell on
    a black ice turn after 27 mi. of riding and only 1/2 mi. from home. I was very negative and
    depressed, the last time I wrote to the group, but am happy to report things have changed a lot. At
    5 weeks the hard cast came off and a removable air cast went on. This was really good news. I could
    shower my whole body and remove the cast for physical therapy which started after 6 weeks at which
    time I was rated "partial weight bearing" which basically means no weight without the cast and a
    slow increase toward "weight bearing as tolerated" at 8 weeks.

    Physical therapy has gone extremely well. I learned that I could do physical therapy any time my
    foot was not in imminent danger--sitting in a chair, lying on a couch, etc. and used this to
    advantage. I worked my ankle like a machine. It was in constant motion and continuously ached, but
    no pain. My therapist said ache was fine, but no pain! At 7 weeks I was on my Dakota, in my basement
    on a trainer. The shoe is left attached to the pedal, and at first, due to limited ankle motion and
    an impressive amount of swelling, required my wife's help to force my left foot into my bicycling
    shoe--the same one the foot was in on Dec. 25 when I convinced the ER people not to cut it off my
    foot. I barely lasted the 15 minutes I was allowed--the ankle wasn't too bad; it was the calf
    muscle--a lot of pain! By the third time on the bike I had very little calf pain and was making 80
    to 90 RPM at a hard enough setting to work up quite a sweat in the 30 minutes I was on it. I now do
    exercises designed to stretch the calf and hamstrings.

    Now at 9 weeks I can walk quite well in my air cast with 1 crutch and can do pretty well with no
    crutch. My PT tells me that my foot needs to bend more and my foot is too weak for walking without
    crutches, so I basically have done away with the air cast and prefer walking with 2 crutches and
    partial weight bearing on my foot, forcing it through normal foot and ankle motions--lots of
    discomfort, but no real pain. Shh! Don't tell my surgeon. Technically, I'm not to do this until
    March 6 when I see him. Interestingly, I will not be allowed to walk without crutches until I can do
    so with a natural gait and no limp. They don't want to have to train you down the road to walk
    without a limp.

    I have religiously done at least an hour of strength and stretching every day using elastic bands
    which I wrap around my foot and hold with my hand (or some other family member's) and this has
    really paid off. My PT has been excellent. He seems to intuitively sense how much my ankle can take
    and lets me push it to safe limits without being foolhardy. I have suffered no real pain, but do
    allow myself to endure consider achiness in my therapy which has been encouraged by my PT who is
    quite impressed by my progress, so I asked him the big question, "When can I ride the Dakota on the
    road?" He answered to put it out of my mind for now because I needed considerably more strength and
    agility than required for full weight bearing in the event of emergency or another fall. Not bad
    advice, particularly since the roads are still narrow from the snow and it does make sense to get
    over one injury before entertaining the possibility of another!
     
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  2. John W

    John W Guest

    Harry,

    Why don't you consider getting a trike and you will not have to worry about a fall.

    John
     
  3. My two cents. My right foot was essentially severed at the ankle over twenty years ago. Horse
    accident, not a bike. At that time I was not into fitness. I quickly was "into" pain. There is pain,
    and there is pain, but nothing hurts quite like a f**cked up ankle. I had a scrillion surgeries, my
    first surgeon was from the old school, so he set my ankle so's I could wear high heels. (To know me,
    is to understand that I have NEVER worn high heels) In the following years, I realized that I was my
    own worst enemy and best friend all at the same time. I started getting active. Since I could not
    tolerate any impact exercise (walking, running, aerobics) I picked cycling. The whole nine yards.
    For the first time, I felt whole and not held back by the ankle. Still had a nasty limp at this
    point. Fast forward. Biked across and around most of the US. First on a diamond frame, then switched
    to recumbents. That was a big plus for the ankle. (didn't anticipate that) 3 years ago, the ankle
    had deteriorated so badly that I had to go have it fused. Woohoo....!! Best thing I've ever done. No
    pain. Even though I am fused, (only tib/talur) it has not hurt cycling one iota. The limp is gone,
    as the new guy set my foot back to a ninety degree. When the injury is still fresh in your mind, you
    are over protective. I empathize with Harry for everything he is going through. Eventually, you will
    get to not worry about the ankle so much, I have had some nasty spills and have been surprised that
    the ankle was not my first panicked thought. Trikes are ok, some of us like the 2 wheelers. I rode a
    trike for a while, but didn't like it. I'll ride 2 wheels as long as I can, I like the feeling of 2
    wheels. I can't go through metal detectors, I still have lots of hardware. My surgeon is tickled
    pink with me. He gets lots of patients who are content to just waste away whining on the sofa. He
    likes the fact that I am aggressively active. Perry bentcajungirl
     
  4. Steve Fox

    Steve Fox Guest

    Harry,

    See, time heals all. Take it easy; you've got time. Do what your doctor and PT tell you! No more.

    Glad things are going so well for you.

    Steve

    Harry Spatz wrote:

    >Some of you may remember that I broke my fibula and tibia (compound fracture) on Dec 25, 2002 while
    >riding my Barcroft Dakota. I got 9 screws and a plate which internally reduced the injury. I fell
    >on a black ice turn after 27 mi. of riding and only 1/2 mi. from home. I was very negative and
    >depressed, the last time I wrote to the group, but am happy to report things have changed a lot. At
    >5 weeks the hard cast came off and a removable air cast went on. This was really good news. I could
    >shower my whole body and remove the cast for physical therapy which started after 6 weeks at which
    >time I was rated "partial weight bearing" which basically means no weight without the cast and a
    >slow increase toward "weight bearing as tolerated" at 8 weeks.
    >
    >Physical therapy has gone extremely well. I learned that I could do physical therapy any time my
    >foot was not in imminent danger--sitting in a chair, lying on a couch, etc. and used this to
    >advantage. I worked my ankle like a machine. It was in constant motion and continuously ached, but
    >no pain. My therapist said ache was fine, but no pain! At 7 weeks I was on my Dakota, in my
    >basement on a trainer. The shoe is left attached to the pedal, and at first, due to limited ankle
    >motion and an impressive amount of swelling, required my wife's help to force my left foot into my
    >bicycling shoe--the same one the foot was in on Dec. 25 when I convinced the ER people not to cut
    >it off my foot. I barely lasted the 15 minutes I was allowed--the ankle wasn't too bad; it was the
    >calf muscle--a lot of pain! By the third time on the bike I had very little calf pain and was
    >making 80 to 90 RPM at a hard enough setting to work up quite a sweat in the 30 minutes I was on
    >it. I now do exercises designed to stretch the calf and hamstrings.
    >
    >Now at 9 weeks I can walk quite well in my air cast with 1 crutch and can do pretty well with no
    >crutch. My PT tells me that my foot needs to bend more and my foot is too weak for walking without
    >crutches, so I basically have done away with the air cast and prefer walking with 2 crutches and
    >partial weight bearing on my foot, forcing it through normal foot and ankle motions--lots of
    >discomfort, but no real pain. Shh! Don't tell my surgeon. Technically, I'm not to do this until
    >March 6 when I see him. Interestingly, I will not be allowed to walk without crutches until I can
    >do so with a natural gait and no limp. They don't want to have to train you down the road to walk
    >without a limp.
    >
    >I have religiously done at least an hour of strength and stretching every day using elastic bands
    >which I wrap around my foot and hold with my hand (or some other family member's) and this has
    >really paid off. My PT has been excellent. He seems to intuitively sense how much my ankle can take
    >and lets me push it to safe limits without being foolhardy. I have suffered no real pain, but do
    >allow myself to endure consider achiness in my therapy which has been encouraged by my PT who is
    >quite impressed by my progress, so I asked him the big question, "When can I ride the Dakota on the
    >road?" He answered to put it out of my mind for now because I needed considerably more strength and
    >agility than required for full weight bearing in the event of emergency or another fall. Not bad
    >advice, particularly since the roads are still narrow from the snow and it does make sense to get
    >over one injury before entertaining the possibility of another!
    >
    >
    >
    >

    --
    Steve Fox McKinleyville, CA http://members.cox.net/steve.fox

    Delete NOSPAM to reply
     
  5. Geob

    Geob Guest

    Harry:
    > "When can I ride the Dakota on the road?" He answered to put it out of my mind for now because I
    > needed considerably more strength and agility than required for full weight bearing in the event
    > of emergency or another fall.

    bentcajungirl:
    > When the injury is still fresh in your mind, you are over protective. I empathize with Harry for
    > everything he is going through. Eventually, you will get to not worry about the ankle so much,

    I injured my ankle (bad sprain) when I crashed at about 25 mph six months ago. I have been
    exercising it, taking care of it, etc. Went to the desert with friends & family.. my 11 yo gurl
    asked me to start the quad she was riding. I jumped up there, kicked it like I had a thousand times
    before. Oh.. the pain... hurt lots worse than when I first injured it. Now it is sore again and I am
    back on the NSAIDs. But I can still ride. Finished my 1st 45 mile ride Saturday, my first organized
    bike event.

    I remember one motorcycle-caused soft tissue injury to my other ankle took about 8 years to fully
    recover. I no longer ride the devil machines.

    GeoB
     
  6. Harry Spatz

    Harry Spatz Guest

    "John W" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Harry,
    >
    > Why don't you consider getting a trike and you will not have to worry
    about
    > a fall.
    >
    > John
    >
    >

    I tried some trikes in New York at the Recumbent Festival which, incidentally, was a really neat
    event. I liked the low go cart type feel, but am afraid of the extra width on our roads here outside
    of Boston. I fear I would be exchanging one problem for another. After all, I am not accident
    prone--one fall in 1600 mi. on my 'bent, and none in the 20,000 mi preceding on my wedgie. I feel it
    was just bad luck that that fall was so disasterous for me.

    I've had many people ask, "After such a terrible injury,you're not getting back on that thing, are
    you?" I say I will as soon as I get the go-ahead and the weather permits--no more chances when there
    might be ice (probably won't get the go-ahead until well aftrer the ice is gone, but I can dream,
    can't I?) Then I ask these same people if they were ever in a car accident. If so, did they give a
    second thought about getting back into their car, especially considering that around 40,000 people
    die in cars in this country every year. I guess most people consider cars as a required danger and
    'bents, or bicycles in general, as an unneeded danger.

    Also, the fact that I had an accident does not affect the danger of riding in general, so why would
    I change my behavior based on it? The only thing that would change my mind about riding my 'bent is
    if my doctor said that if I suffered the same injury again, that I would be permanently crippled.
    Come to think of it, that's a good question to ask my surgeon. I've already got 9 screws and a
    plate. There can't be much room for that many more! That might get me onto a trike, or perhaps alter
    the danger I am willing to accept--night riding, riding in a pack, riding agressively. I would like
    to think that my riding will be the same as preaccident, but only time will tell. It's possible that
    there is a psychological component that I am as yet unaware of. Hope not though.
     
  7. John W

    John W Guest

    > > Why don't you consider getting a trike and you will not have to worry about a fall.
    >
    > I tried some trikes in New York at the Recumbent Festival which, incidentally, was a really neat
    > event. I liked the low go cart type feel, but am afraid of the extra width on our roads here
    > outside of Boston. I fear I would be exchanging one problem for another.

    From all the trikers I have talked to the width issue is not that big of a deal. They all say you
    are no wider on a trike than a two-wheeler handlbars when you measure across the rider from elbow to
    elbow. They all use some kind of flag or whirly device for visibility.

    > The only thing that would change my mind about riding my 'bent is if my
    doctor said that if
    > I suffered the same injury again, that I would be permanently crippled.

    I crashed a dirt bike (motorized kind) in 1986 and tore the anterior cruciate ligament in my right
    knee which required major surgery to repair. I also broke my tibia from the top where the femur
    rests on it at the knee joint. It cracked at a 45 degree angle from the front top of the tibia down
    about 3" to the back of the tibia. This also required surgery to repair. It is held together by two
    stainless lug type bolts (they're still in there). I was in a cast and was non weight bearing on the
    right leg for 3 months. After 6 months and intense physical therapy I was cleared to ride dirt
    bikes. Even though my leg felt good (sometimes it occasionally would bend backwards and I would go
    down) I just didn't have the nerve anymore to keep up with my buddies. My doc had cautioned me that
    if I crashed and tore up the knee again there would be the possibility of knee replacement. I think
    this was always in the back of my mind. I finally gave up and sold my dirt bike.

    Since I had given up my hobby I was desperate for a new hobby so I had started reading a lot about
    mountain bikes. This was fall of 1987 and the
    mt. bike craze was going ful blast. I had read that bike crashes seldom have knee injuries so I
    thought this would be a fairly safe hobby for my knee and also good rehabilitation for the knee.
    I got a mt. bike but found no one in my area used them for offroad riding everyone rode them on
    the road (not many mountains in the midwest). Next thing you know I had joined the local club
    and my mt. bike had slicks, a road type handlebar and I was riding metric's. Well as you know
    one thing leads to another and I had a full on high performance road bike and was riding 10-15
    centuries a year. Most everyone is probably familar as to were this is going (this is a bent
    group), the pain on my hands, neck, butt got to be too much and in 1993 I broke down and got a
    bent. I noticed I was riding the bent more than my road bike, so by 1995 I got rid of the road
    bike and became fully bent. So now it is ten years from '93 and 7 bents later and my knee has
    never felt better. Luckily I never had any severe bike crashes (knock on wood). I went down
    several times and had some good road rash but never any broken bones. I never seemed to have the
    fear about injuring my knee riding a bike like I did on the motorcycle.

    I think my next recumbent purchase is going to be a trike. I am getting older (49) and I like the
    idea of being able to go up a steep hill as slow as you like and not have to worry about falling
    over. Also like the idea of being able to stop without putting a foot down.

    Harry I am sure you are going to make a full recovery and the thing about biking is it makes the
    injured area stronger. Its been over 16 yrs. since my injury and my knee feels great. My doc says no
    knee replacement in my future. He says it is do to all my biking that my muscles are so strong
    around my knee and they support the knee. I know I never have any problems with it going backwards
    anymore. Good luck and here's to a super recovery and many biking miles.

    John
     
  8. Geob

    Geob Guest

    > Harry I am sure you are going to make a full recovery and the thing about biking is it makes the
    > injured area stronger.

    I wuz inna bad car accident when i wuz 14. I'v had knee trouble ever since, off and on. I started
    out on my 1st bent last May, and I told myself that i wuz gonna take it real easy for a long time
    and get my knees conditioned. They hurt a few times 'n I used anti-inflamatories, quit riding fer a
    while. It seems to have worked cuz now i kin go purdy hard with no pain. i can run up mtns, I kin do
    deep knee bends. Haven't been able to do that fer ages. I feel great!
     
  9. Harry Spatz

    Harry Spatz Guest

    > I crashed a dirt bike (motorized kind) in 1986 and tore the anterior cruciate ligament in my right
    > knee which required major surgery to repair.
    I
    > also broke my tibia from the top where the femur rests on it at the knee joint. It cracked at a 45
    > degree angle from the front top of the tibia
    down
    > about 3" to the back of the tibia. This also required surgery to repair.
    It
    > is held together by two stainless lug type bolts (they're still in there).
    I
    > was in a cast and was non weight bearing on the right leg for 3 months. After 6 months and intense
    > physical therapy I was cleared to ride dirt bikes. Even though my leg felt good (sometimes it
    > occasionally would bend backwards and I would go down) I just didn't have the nerve anymore to
    keep
    > up with my buddies. My doc had cautioned me that if I crashed and tore up the knee again there
    > would be the possibility of knee replacement. I think this was always in the back of my mind. I
    > finally gave up and sold my dirt bike.
    >
    > Since I had given up my hobby I was desperate for a new hobby so I had started reading a lot about
    > mountain bikes. This was fall of 1987 and the
    > mt. bike craze was going ful blast. I had read that bike crashes seldom
    have
    > knee injuries so I thought this would be a fairly safe hobby for my knee
    and
    > also good rehabilitation for the knee. I got a mt. bike but found no one
    in
    > my area used them for offroad riding everyone rode them on the road (not many mountains in the
    > midwest). Next thing you know I had joined the local club and my mt. bike had slicks, a road type
    > handlebar and I was riding metric's. Well as you know one thing leads to another and I had a full
    > on high performance road bike and was riding 10-15 centuries a year. Most everyone is probably
    > familar as to were this is going (this is a bent group), the pain on my hands, neck, butt got to
    > be too much and in 1993 I broke down and got a bent. I noticed I was riding the bent more than my
    road
    > bike, so by 1995 I got rid of the road bike and became fully bent. So now
    it
    > is ten years from '93 and 7 bents later and my knee has never felt better. Luckily I never had any
    > severe bike crashes (knock on wood). I went down several times and had some good road rash but
    > never any broken bones. I never seemed to have the fear about injuring my knee riding a bike like
    > I did on the motorcycle.
    >
    > I think my next recumbent purchase is going to be a trike. I am getting older (49) and I like the
    > idea of being able to go up a steep hill as slow as you like and not have to worry about falling
    > over. Also like the idea
    of
    > being able to stop without putting a foot down.
    >
    > Harry I am sure you are going to make a full recovery and the thing about biking is it makes the
    > injured area stronger. Its been over 16 yrs. since
    my
    > injury and my knee feels great. My doc says no knee replacement in my future. He says it is do to
    > all my biking that my muscles are so strong around my knee and they support the knee. I know I
    > never have any problems with it going backwards anymore. Good luck and here's to a super recovery
    > and many biking miles.
    >
    > John
    >
    >
    Thanks John. It's interesting how one thing leads to another. I am sure bicycling is a lot better
    for you than dirt biking. I two am getting older
    (50), but never thought seriously about a trike. Like some people have said, if I had had a trike, I
    would not have been injured. I wonder how they compare speed wise with a two wheeled recumbent.

    My orthopedist told me not to worry about suffering the same injury again. He thinks it will never
    happen, but if it did, he would figure some way to fix it. I am now rated "full weight bearing" and
    walk well with one crutch and street shoes. I will not need crutches in around 2 weeks and will ride
    outdoors in another month. Yesterday I rode on the trainer and even got my cleat to release with a
    twist of my formerly broken ankle! Who knows. Maybe I can even do my club's spring century in May.

    Harry
     
  10. John W

    John W Guest

    > I two am getting older
    > (50), but never thought seriously about a trike. Like some people have said, if I had had a trike,
    > I would not have been injured. I wonder how they compare speed wise with a two wheeled
    > recumbent.

    From everything I have seen posted about trikes it seems they they're usually 1 to 2 mi. slower than
    the 2 wheelers. But the triker's always say they do not get as tired because they do not expend
    energy on balancing like you do on a 2 wheeler, especially during hill climbing. Besides I have
    slowed down a lot. Ten years ago I used to fly past everything and my goal was to get from point A
    to point B as fast as I could. Now it seems to be a lot more fun to cruise along and stop every now
    and then to smell the roses. I don't know if you ever look at any of the IHPVA mailing list, but
    they have a list on trikes. If you want to check it out sometime the url is:
    http://www.ihpva.org/pipermail/trikes/index.html

    > My orthopedist told me not to worry about suffering the same injury again. He thinks it will never
    > happen, but if it did, he would figure some way to fix it.

    I think your doc is right. It would be very unlikely that in a fall you would have the same type
    of injury.

    > I will not need crutches in around 2 weeks and will ride outdoors in another month. Yesterday I
    > rode on the trainer and even got
    my
    > cleat to release with a twist of my formerly broken ankle! Who knows. Maybe I can even do my
    > club's spring century in May.

    One bright note is you are recovering just in time for the beginning of the riding season. Good luck
    on that century.

    John
     
  11. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    John W wrote:
    >
    > From everything I have seen posted about trikes it seems they they're usually 1 to 2 mi. slower
    > than the 2 wheelers. But the triker's always say they do not get as tired because they do not
    > expend energy on balancing like you do on a 2 wheeler, especially during hill climbing....

    Another advantage of a trike is that road hazards such as loose gravel can be traversed safely
    without slowing down, unlike riding a single track recumbent. This is especially true on a rear
    suspended trike with semi-indestructible tires (53-406 Maxxis Hookworms).

    Tom Sherman - Various HPV's Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
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