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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
On 10/19/08, I was riding my road bike on a rural road in Virginia when I was struck by an elderly motorist who told the State Police that he never saw me. I was flipped up in the air, and landed on my left buttocks, which caused a burst fracture (a type of compression fracture) in my L3 vertebra. I also fractured the transverse process on my L3, L4, and L5. In addition to the fractured vertebrae, I also had a pretty serious concussion, serious bruising, and road rash. Also bruised up my entire left leg so badly that I'm still having problems with it. The entire leg from the hip to the calf is causing me problems.

I spent 5 days in the ICU at the University of Virginia Medical Center. I'm 11 weeks into this injury, and the fractured L3 still hasn't healed properly. I can't start physical therapy until my L3 heals. And I can't return to work (since I'm a police officer) either. My department has approved a light-duty (desk job) for me once I'm able to return to work.

Obviously it's going to be awhile before I can start riding again. And unfortunately I'll have to brave the road bike again before I can try mountain biking (even though I'd probably feel safer in the woods).

I was wondering if anyone on MTBR had suffered a similar injury at some point in their life and could give me some insight. I attached a few images from MRI's and CT scans.
 

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Hang in there man I broke my back a bunch of years ago mountain biking in West Verginia. I shattered the 4and 5 vertebra in the center of my back. I also had no health insurance so I had no flow up care after I was sent home. Just do what the docs tell you and you should be ok. I ended up being just fine. I had to just whate 3 months and then slowly start doing things agen. I got really lucky that I don't have any problems now.

Hey I know its tuff and things look bad but you will get better. The best thing you can do is get back on and ride. I know i still have trouble mountain biking to this day becasue of my crash. IM me if you need any thing.
 

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Omg!

Skeletor: I am so sorry for your injury. I agree about listening to the pros, but involve yourself as much as possible.
As a midle aged Martial Arts instructor, my ice packs ar4e my best friends. I also do inversion "hanging upside down" daily, chiro weekly and accupuncture as needed.
None of these other therapies will conflict w/medical treatments.
Right now is the time to rest and heal, rehab will come later.
Turn your MTB into a Hybrid and get the best of both worlds.
You didn't mention your age, after 40 everything takes longer to heal.

Do not give up!

Ricisan
 

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Damn bro, that sucks. Never broken anything in my back, just a few pinched nerves and some swelling. Google up on Tara Lanes. Her recovery is remarkable.

http://www.pinkbike.com/news/Tara-llanes-injury-report-september-2007.html

There's a link to her MySpace on this page, with info and some inspiring clips of her recovery process. She's a bada$$, no doubt. Good luck brotha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Well, the guy that hit me was 83 and the State Trooper charged him with Reckless Driving. At the time of the collision I was going between 17-20 mph. Old man was going 40-45 mph.

Currently, I have an attorney who is handling my case. The property damage portion has already been settled, and unfortunately the insurance company only offered me 55% of the replacement cost for my bike and all my equipment/clothing that was destroyed. It sucks that I can't get full replacement cost for my bike, but my attorney says he'll try to make up for in the final settlement for everything.

Recovery is slow, but I'm progressing. I'll be 32 this year. It's nice to hear the doctors continuously refer to me as a "young man", which I guess I still am. When I was in the hospital, they said because of my age and fitness I would recover quicker than normal.

I've looked at inversion tables also. My dad used one when he had back surgery 3 years ago. He seemed to like it. I've been going to a chiropractor once a month for the past 8 years... Probably bump that up to at least twice a month from here on. I also am going to look into regular massages, acupuncture, and extensive stretching. I have a friend that runs a stretching clinic (like a chiropractor's office). He does 60 minute sessions of AIS (active isolated stretching). So I'll probably enlist his help as well.
 

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Skeletor said:
unfortunately the insurance company only offered me 55% of the replacement cost for my bike and all my equipment/clothing that was destroyed. It sucks that I can't get full replacement cost for my bike, but my attorney says he'll try to make up for in the final settlement for everything.
That is nuts,:madmax: and I'd really make them pay after that BS. Make sure they know you are a cop.

Heal fast!
 

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Hang in there and stay staunch Skeletor! I had my back injured in an automobile accident back on Oct 3, 2007. I had a lot of tissue related damage that has just recently healed up enough to not be a problem, but I have two discs that are buldging/protruding pretty bad. The specialists say the only way to know what is really going on with my back is to open it up to take a look, but that is not something I am willing to do.

Your injuries look way more intense than what I am dealing with. My advice is to try everything you can to work out the muscles to promote healing. I did physical therapy as well as accupuncture. I switched to a full-suspension bike to reduce the pain of the big hits, and until recently I had been running a Lookin seat that had these huge elastomer shock absorbers under the rails.

Watch out for weight gain during your healing. It is nasty having to get your body used to excercise again while at the same time trying to rid yourself of extra weight. Makes it a lot harder process.

Also, watch out when you are making a settlement. If you have a health-maintenance organization handling your healthcare they may try to pull what my HMO did with me. Once there was fault admitted by the other driver, they started trying to take part of my settlement to pay for their costs to take care of me. I got a real good (read: a**hole) lawyer to push them back.
 

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Bokchoicowboy said:
Watch out for weight gain during your healing. It is nasty having to get your body used to excercise again while at the same time trying to rid yourself of extra weight. Makes it a lot harder process.
I would have agree with you there. That happend to me. I got really depressed and thought my life was over. U out on 30lb and allmost lost my truck and went in to some serios dept. Just keep your head up and do eavry thing you can to not get depressed over this. Allso don't Push your recovery. The risk is too high take your time and dont try too hard.
 

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Skeletor,
I have very similar inuries. last June '08 I crashed down hill landed on my head, cracked my helmet, bad concussioni, compressed and fractured c1(very bad) L4 and L5. I spent 4 days in the ICU had every tube and electrode attached. EKG, BP, O2, IV drip, lower leg air bladders to prevent blod clots, and catheter. 12 weeks with a cervical collar. 24/7 I was allowed back to work after about a month., cubicle duty. So now it has been 6 months. I still have back pains and may have them for another 6 months or more. I have had concussion symptons until lately. (migrains) I started riding on road around the block at 13 weeks, kept to smooth pavement only because of concussion symptoms. I finallly went on my first Mt. Bike ride last month with a beginners group. and have ridden begginer rides for the last few weeks. Ive had physical therapy at my Chiropractors for from week 15, no adjustments. Most of my ability to swivel my neck has returned. and now an almost over concussion symptoms. I

Oh yes, the vidadin, morphine and tylenol reduced the pain, also made me constipated for almost 7 days. I got off the morphine on the 2nd day and off the vicadin after 7 days. All the drugs probably burnt my stomach linings because I have only recently gained an appetite. I have lost almost 20 lbs. and have a long way to go to get back in shape. the good is that I can climb a lot longer and steeper because I lost the weight! I weighed in at 195 and am currently about 176. maybe more because of the holidays.

My therapy is riding the bike, it keeps me sane. I limit my riding to smooth bike paths on the road bike or beginner trails with full suspension. I probably started riding mt. bike before I should have, but I just had to get out on the trails again.

I also lost some of my balance, I was given some excersizes to regain my balance. It's almost back after 1 month of balance therapy.

I am thrilled to be alive and have full use of my arms and legs

good luck to you and keep me posted on your recovery.

Yours,
Wayne Nagata
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow, it's amazing how similar your injury was to mine (except your major injury was to the cervical spine and mine was to lumbar). Everything else is pretty much the same, except for minor details. Like you spent 4 days in the ICU, and I spent 5 days. They would have let me out after 4, except the concussion was so bad I almost passed out when I sat up for lunch on the 4th day. Nurses had to come in and basically carry me back to bed.

I had the air bladders constantly squeezing my lower legs too. It's supposed to prevent blood clots from forming. The pain medications also constipated me for about a week. Crazy!

Maybe I can use this as an excuse to talk my wife into letting me get a new full-suspension bike. My newest FS bike is a Cannondale Scalpel, 07 model. Only 67mm of rear travel. Not much squish for a recovering broken back.

It's really frustrating, because I was basically just riding along minding my own business when grandpa decides to take me out. The real kicker is that he was coming back from church and he drove in a separate car from his wife. I really wish she'd given him a ride that day.
 

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Yeah, very similar, yours worse in some areas mine worse in other. We are both lucky to be still kicking!

I have 140 mm's of travel front and rear. but the front forks Marz AM2 OEM,don't absorb the little stutter bumps, it bounced enought to blur my vision last time out. I have tried all posiible set ups. I have another fork on order to correct this problem. I think the front fork would be more important than the back. but if the wife gives the green light, maybe you can sell it and go for a 4 to 5 inch trail bike.: )

I had a blue hair cut the corner just in front of me and would have taken me out if i had been there 2 seconds earlier. Shouldn't there be drivers test for over 70?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, there should be a driver's test for people when they reach a certain age. The State Trooper filed a DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) medical review request, which will require the elderly man to go to DMV for a physical and vision test. I've heard he voluntarily gave up his driver's license. But DMV really should do something about allowing elderly drivers to keep driving unchecked.
 

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I crashed a few years ago, when I was 53. Went over the bars on a section of trail I had ridden a thousand times before. Landed on my back, inbetween two cut-down sapling stumps. My friends said it was a miracle I wasn't squered. My camelback bladder exploded under me when I hit the ground! I layed there for a while making sure nothing was broken. Got back on the bike, rode it out and went home. Told the wife I think I pulled something in my lower back...I'm gonna take a hot bath. Mistake!
I had to have the EMS folks disassemble my shower doors to be able to lift me out of the tub and put me on a gurney to the hospital. Fractured L3, pulverized L4. I am a quarter inch shorter! I was sent home after the x-rays - pain wasn't bad at all. Funny thing was, when I saw the X-rays, I was sure they had someone elses pics, as I had a curved spine and 25 yr history of back pain/problems, and the x-rays showed a perfectly straight spine with two FU'd vertabrae. So it was a mixed blessing in a way, for me.

5 weeks later I was back on the bike - contrary to all my doctors advice and was fully MTB'ing a few weeks later.
Now I ride alot less extreme and in more control with great thought towards everything I encounter and I certainly count my blessings!!!

My wonderful wife bought me a I-Joy chair from Sharper Image, a snow blower and a hot tub!! She said I shouldn't strain myself too much anymore!

Hope you heal up soon, Skeletor!
 

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Sorry to hear about the accident.

In 2004 I overshot a corner and front-flipped into a tree that was no more than 4” in diameter. That was enough to break three transverse process and three ribs. I was being very optimistic and convinced myself it was just a sprain, finished the ride, camped out the night and went to work for the next four days before I realize it was more serious and went to the hospital. Because of the force involved in the break they said I was very lucky not to have impact related organ damage, internal bleeding and all that good stuff. I’ll second that!

Anyway, it kept me off the bike for the rest of the year but I was able to rehab myself fairly effectively. My wife teaches a pretty hardcore Pilates class and I did as many as three classes a week for about a year starting a maybe six months after the crash. After that the pain was mostly gone and riding was no problem, even on a hardtail.

In the last couple years I’ve not been as strict with the Pilates and occasionally the pain with come back, both in the area of the break and in the from of a tingling in my right butt cheek. I can cure this with a month of regular core strength exercises. Basically the more I exercise the better it feels and that would be my advice to anybody with a similar injury.

Get well soon.
 
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