Injury Experience

Discussion in 'Health' started by Poofighter, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Poofighter

    Poofighter Member

    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Shortboy
    It was good to finally meet mtnbikej at Rwanda, and we chatted about a shoulder injury that we both had and is somewhat common among bikers. Back on str after I had my injury, I PM’d Jason with 20 questions on what to expect with the surgery and the PT recovery. He was a wealth of info, so even though the whole process was new to me, I had an idea of what to expect and am still thankful for him sharing.

    I started thinking (and yes it hurt) about a thread that could help others who get similar injuries, whether it be knee, back, shoulder whatever all in one location?

    With that said I’ll start it off. Back in 2012 crashed and broke the humeral head in several places. The ortho called me 2 days later and scheduled an appointment for the next day, which was great as I didn’t have to call him. Doc decided to wait a week to make sure I didn’t have an infection as I had dirt rash all over. He also explained that he was going to install a plate and screws to hold it all together and the plate is staying in.

    normal not mine, but I wish

    the break
    pre surgery.jpg

    Had the surgery and all went as planned. 4 weeks after the surgery light PT starts. According to the physical therapist you only get 3 months (post surgery) to get your range of motion back, so what you got it at that point is what you’ll have for life. He also told me that I would only get about 85-90% motion due to the severity of my injury. Efff him, I need more than 90% of my right arm back! I took PT seriously and did all of the exercises and then some. I even paid out of pocket to a masseuse to break up the excess scar tissue. Some of what the PT does to you hurts as much as the break itself, but is necessary to get those ligaments to release. 3 months later 98% of motion back.

    hardware installed
    broke hardware.jpg

    I thought all was done and got back on the bike about 5 months later starting with a road ride, then fully, and working my way back to riding normal trails. A little after that, I noticed some pain when I raised my arms out to the side and up (similar motion to a jumping jack). It turns out that I had an impingement due to the extra thickness of the plate was hitting the acromion. I thought I was just being a wuss and just dealt with it. I had a final exam with the ortho and voiced my concern and when he saw a hump near the collar bone when I lifted my arm, he knew something was effed up and we decided to remove the hardware. I had to have pretty much the same surgery to remove the plate, but the recovery time and PT was only a couple months. Oh and the removal of the foreign object got me to 100% range of motion, but have creaking and will undoubtedly have arthritis in the area.

    hardware removed and if you look close you can see the screw holes.
    hardware removal.jpg

    What do you got?
  2. BigTex

    BigTex Member

    Ladera Ranch
    Current Bike:
    Pivot Les
    I don't have any cool x-rays with metal bits, but had a somewhat similar injury. Landed hard on my left shoulder at Northstar. (By the way, thank God for full-face helmets - I'd be even uglier if I wasn't wearing one.) Tore my rotator cuff, bicep tendon and had some fractures in the humeral head, but not as severe as yours. Surgery was in order, but not until the fractures healed, and that turned out to be a good thing. Torn rotator cuffs usually don't heal themselves. But because of the fractures, enough extra blood was flowing to the area to repair it that the rotator cuff healed in the three months I had to wait for surgery. Granted, I was in a lot of pain for those three months because of miscellaneous tendon bits floating around in my shoulder. Once the doctor went in for surgery, he found that all he needed to do was clean it out and shave some bone. I didn't have to have my arm immobilized for six weeks as usual in the case of a repaired rotator cuff, and could begin PT immediately. And, yes, PT sucks.

    Apparently nothing can be done about the bicep tendon, so I'm missing one connection there (and I'm told that bodybuilders, if they rip one, rip the other, because it creates more definition in the bicep, and I can see the difference between the two). I have 95-100 percent of the range of motion, depending on the day, and it still feels a bit tight at the limits. Four years later it's also not up to full strength, but close. The shoulder doc also says I'll need a new one someday.

    One thing he told me as soon as I saw him the first time was that I should start swimming in the interim until I could have the surgery. Goes a long way toward keeping the shoulder from freezing up. I could only do the breaststroke during that time, but I think it helped. And I have somewhat kept at it, and it even pushed me toward doing some triathlons, although I've slacked off on both the swimming and the running in the past year.
  3. mike

    mike iMTB Addict

    Western US
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    Great to have a support thread for people losing it mentally over temporarily losing it physically. That’s the crux of most injuries, keeping sane.

    When you see bones sticking out or get a chopper ride, you can assume you’ll be off the bike a few days. If all else fails, know that some poor F got way more busted up than you and survived the hopelessness to reign again.

  4. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Rockstah

    La Verne, CA
    Dennis (AKA Dio)
    Current Bike:
    2013 Trek Slash 9 (26er)
    Looooong road ahoe....
    Cyclotourist, Faust29 and mike like this.
  5. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS
    I am sure I have posted this before......

    July 30, 2011.....riding back from Old Camp with a buddy. I was flying down STT on my El Mariachi. At about 20-24 mph I hit the rock garden above the turn where the Jeeps/Mercedes got stuck. Before I knew it, I was seeing sky-brush-ground-sky-brush-ground-sky-brush-ground. Yeah, I rag dolled pretty well. Picked up self up before my buddy caught up. Shoulder was sore, but I was able to move it so I figured I just jammed it. Didn't have that numb feeling you get when you break your collarbone. Buddy changed out my flat while I gathered myself. Got back on and finished the ride to the Luge and down. The back of my left arm, shoulder and back were covered in road rash. Loaded up and headed home.

    Next day at work, just dealt with the discomfort of my shoulder and road rash. I was having a bit of trouble lifting my arm straight up in front of me.....ok to the side. The following day driving to lunch, I had a panic grab of the steering wheel with my left hand.....the pain was bad. Now my pain tolerance is high....but that hurt...alot. Finally decided to call my Orthopedic and got in the next day. He was the same one that fixed my ankle 18 months earlier. "What did you do this time?" was his response. A couple of X-rays and he says it hurts like that cause you broke it.

    Turns out instead of tearing my rotator cuff, the muscle/ligament pulled a chunk of bone off of the Humerus. The displacement was minimal, so we decided to put it in a sling and see if the displacement got any bigger....if it didn't, most likely it would heal on its' own....if it did, then going under the knife would be an option. Well after 3 weeks and me not following directions too well, the bone displaced too much. So under the knife I went.


    During surgery, my ortho found a hairline fracture down the Humerus....thus the extra long plates. This fracture didn't show up in the X-Rays or MRI. Guess I was close to making the injury even worse. So I ended up with a plate and 9 screws.


    So I would spend the next 6 weeks with my arm immobilized.....that sucked. I also took no opioid pain killers following surgery.

    Following the 6 weeks immobilized, I was cleared for physical therapy. First 2 weeks were passive....meaning the therapist did all the work. 3-4 days a week, he massaged the area around my shoulder. He quickly learned that my tolerance for pain was high. He kept commenting that the way he was manipulating my shoulder should be causing pain. After 2 weeks of passive, I was finally able to begin strength training and regaining range of motion. Abou 2 weeks into strength training I took it upon myself to get back on the bike. I took it easy, but was again riding.

    PT continued for another 8 weeks or so. About 6 weeks in, my therapist did finally find a spot while working on some scar tissue....made my toes curl....OUCH!!!!

    Late December I finished PT. Had my final appointment with my Ortho Feb. 1.....the weekend before we went to Palm Canyon....hit a rock the wrong way and went OTB. I told him the next weekend...."you fixed it up good.....tested it out last weekend and it held up fine".

    I got about 98% ROM back.....the other 2%....well I am not very flexible to start with. There are still a couple of spots on my back I can't reach, but I can live with it.
  6. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Laguna Beach
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    I dislocated a shoulder once in a crash I still don't remember (2014). Physical therapy was a bitch. Did it in March, riding again in May.

    I broke a small bone in my left hand in a crash in which my left hand never hit the ground. Boxer's break. Did it on April 2, 2016. Surgery on April 6. Was riding again on April 30.

    Dislocated my hip in a ski race in 1999. They took me to Vail Valley Medical, morphined me up, threw me on the ground, sat two orderlies on me and put the femur back in the socket. Evidently I was yelling pretty good, but I don't remember. I went back to the after-race party and let the guys buy me beers. Zero rehab time from the injury or from the beer/morphine cocktail. To be fair, the morphine had mostly worn off by the time I started with beer - else I suppose it could have been fatal.

    If you would like more information about any of these three injuries, feel free to ask.
    Cyclotourist, mtnbikej and Poofighter like this.