Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last monday, the 18th, I became the butt of a cosmic joke.

As a result of a rockclimbing mishap, I broke my right tibia, fibula, and ankle.

I went into surgery on the 19th.

At the surgeon's advice, I decided to go with the rods placed within the bones.

Based on my research, it'll be about 9 weeks before I can move around without crutches.

Anyone out there with comments, similar stories, advice?

Thanks very much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
In May 1997 I broke by Tib and Fib in my left leg skateboarding. Both bones snapped all the way through (my tib in two places). My foot flopped around like a wet noodle!

My doc installed a plate with 9 pins on my tibia rather than a rod. I had a hard cast for about 2 months and then an air cast for about 2 and half months. I was on crutches for 4 months! and then a cane for awhile. My '97 summer consisted of beer, vicodin, and working on my tan.

Word of advice... when you can, get that metal crapp out of your leg!! Mine drove me crazy. I couldn't ski, skateboard, run, or do anything really high impact without crazy pain. Also, my leg would go num when I walked outside in the winter. I got that crapp removed and never looked back.

Happy healing!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How long...

did you have to wait before you got the hardware removed from your leg?

And how long was the subsequent recovery time? My guess is that it should not be as long.

Thanks very much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
I waited about 2 years before I got the stuff taken out, mostly for lack of $$ from the first surgery. If I would have had insurance, I probably could of gotten it taken out as soon as the fractures healed.

After I got it removed I had 9 holes going through my tibia from the pins. So back to the air cast and cane for about 6 weeks until those holes closed up. I could have rebroken my tibia real easy during this time frame.

Oh yeah, load up on the calcium and vitamin D!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Suffered a compound fracture of my tib and fib January 1st of this year the result of being hit by an avalanche. Ended up spending 48 hrs in the backcountry before rescue. Resulted in amputation of my leg below the knee. In total I was in the hospital for 17 days, 8 surgeries with more in the future likely. Upside I recieved my first prosthetic leg a week ago and am doing some light training on the indoor trainer with hopes of venturing out into the fresh air soon.

While a huge alteration to my life the sky is the limit. Best of Luck in your recovery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Wow Tsunami! You are probably lucky to be alive!! That sounds like one helllll of a story.

I know prosthetics have come a long way. Hopefully you are able to hook up with the last and greatest, most hi-tech one available.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
I've totally been there before

I cratered and got a cpmpound tib fib 25 years ago. Did so much damage to the cartilage that 1 year after had to have the ankle fused. Don't bend any more. Took about 5 years to feel strong again. Lack of ankle movement barely inhibited my climbing ability. Could still flash 12s and do 13s with work. Always happens doing somthing stupid it seems. I'm 50 now and don't climb. Tired of fingers and stuff hurting. My right leg that was injured is much skinnier than my left.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery!
 

·
WAWE
Joined
·
1,437 Posts
I busted my tib/fib... 20 months ago (wow, that long ago already). My tibia was rod'd and I had a spaceboot + crutches for 3 months. I was back on the bike in 96 days (not that I was counting)... rode the gearie for about a month before hopping back on the singlespeed... very lucky.

There is still often pain in at the knee, fracture area, and ankle... I'm sure the hardware doesn't help. The tibia is still healing so the rod is still in there... hopefully will be removed at the end of the year.

My tips...

1) Make sure you got to PT and do your exercises... and try another if your recovery isn't progressing as you would like.

2) Take it slow with walking... I made the mistake of ditching my crutches too quickly and it took (a little :rolleyes: ) longer for my ankle to return to proper mobility/function when walking. I was "stomping" instead of moving my ankle.

3) When doc says you can ride again but only easy flat bike paths... ignore him and hit the hills! :)... but YMMV.

4) Clipless pedals will feel *really* weird the first few times... be careful unclipping. My leg felt like it was totally crooked... the feeling went away after a few rides... *phew*

5) Don't do it again.

Tsunami - yikes, what a story... very fortunate to be able to bounce back.
 

·
Canuck
Joined
·
112 Posts
Snowboarding...

Broke my tib-fib trying to clear a 10' sinkhole in the creekbed I was barelling down - hit the opposite side and fell into the 12-foot deep hole. 2 feet of ice-cold water and vertical icy sides. Managed to self-rescue after an hour, after punching foot and hand holds into the walls - I'll never forget the sounds of crunching bone as I had to put weight on my shattered ankle to get out. Took about 3 months to be 100% on the bike again, but riding really easy stuff after 6-weeks was OK - pain will be your guide. Had to give up snowboarding the season after, as the metal plates were chafing too much - had them taken out after 18 months. Only about 50% mobility in the ankle now, but doesn't seem to affect cycling. Doc said I would get 95% back, maybe I didn't push hard enough in the physio...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
Bouldering or something else?

514Climber said:
Last monday, the 18th, I became the butt of a cosmic joke.

As a result of a rockclimbing mishap, I broke my right tibia, fibula, and ankle.

Anyone out there with comments, similar stories, advice?

Thanks very much.
I shattered my ankle a few years ago when I missed bouldering pads-actually I came down on the edge of the pad from a highball. A hold broke at the top of the problem. I've been luckier on ropes, almost decked from '45 feet when a snake hissed at me from a crack (a single nut caught that fall...). I've cracked ribs grabbing the top of a problem and coming up with a fist full of sand.

I won't fill you full of smoke and say you'll be just fine real soon--my ankle is on and off depending on a lot of factors. However, it's partly my fault, I don't do PT as much as I (still) should.

Curious as to your injury, how did it happen and where? PM me if you are uncomfortable telling the "public" of mtbr about it....

Best of luck, my thoughts are with you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,850 Posts
Well it happened to me about two months ago in a non-cycling related accident. Fractured or broke ankle tib/fib in 3 places. I'm still in the recovery PT process. I ended up getting 10 screws, a plate, and a pin in my leg. Fortunately the doc said the bones were very strong (lol, not strong enough I guess!) which means the screws will hold really well and they will fuse fast so recovery should be virtually 100%. In his words if I never race the Tour de France my ankle is not going to be what keeps me from doing so.

I got a cast for the first week and then a space boot for the next 4 weeks. I got operated the day after the break and four weeks after surgery the doc told me to start PT immediately and start hitting the trainer and putting pressure on the foot incrementaly as I felt comfortable doing so.

Its been almost 8 weeks now and after 3 weeks of PT I've got about 90% ankle mobility in some directions and about 65% in others. Its very important that you do the PT and follow through with all the excercises they tell you. It will hurt but do it. I'm actually more worried about overdoing it and hurting myself. I was finally able to ditch the crutches this week. I'm at the point were I can go almost all out on the trainer and should be back on the bike at the end of the month and can't wait. It seems 3 months is more or less the average time for this type of break to get back to somewhat normal. I'm still thinking about if I should get the hardware removed but the thought of going through recovery again makes me want to just leave it in there. ugghhh...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,284 Posts
I feel like family here, tib, fib and ankle here gang. The dreaded ladder fall, actually, I landed on my feet standing straight up, but the ladder kept coming and my left leg was in the runs, needless to say, bone vs aluminum, AL wins. Not a compond but snapped the bones like a wet twig, and that split went down in my ankle. That is were the healing time is, and let time heal because you dont want to damage that presious ankle. The Tibula has rod in it, 5 screws in the ankle, from 2 surgery's, funny the Fibula they just let float around in there and that cause some problems, it has healed but in a rather lopsided way.

The first surgery left me with a foot out of rotation, so about 3-4 weeks later, the prosess started again, so this really messed up my recovery time, probably doubled it.
About 4 months on crutches, no weight bearing at all, wearing a space boot, about 6 weeks with one crutch walking with the space boot, then just the space boot. Therapy was 3 days a week, my hammies was as tight as a 2x4, that was a tough time.
It was quite a long time untill I wasnt walking with some sort of a limp, but dont worry because even those days you feel blessed, riding a bike is much easier than walking, and great therapy!

I feel for you guy's that have had horrible accidents, my heart goes out to you, but I know you, as I, come to fine that so much of our lives are just vanity, and life, family and freinds are what is important. You will find in your recovering process, that even though it hurts like ####, there will be days that huge improvement happens, scare tissue will break up or more flexability will be felt, so hang in there guy's, you will recover and the pain goes away, the worst has allready happened!

BTW, the TI rods, and screws are still there, now about 3 years. Dont notice much, every now and then my leg will hurt deep inside, and I will limp around, but its just whats on the plate I guess! Actually, I have been ridding much more now just this year, and I still feel improvements happening.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
How it happended...

lamoile said:
Curious as to your injury, how did it happen and where? PM me if you are uncomfortable telling the "public" of mtbr about it....

Best of luck, my thoughts are with you.
Sorry for the late reply. As I tell you what happened, you'll see why it took so long for me to respond.

The accident happened in a climbing gym. I was bouldering about 7 feet off the deck and pulled on a mid-sized cobble for a HUGE dyno.

I was pushing hard with my left foot and was aiming for the top-out at 1 o'clock position. The handhold sheared completely off. And, because I was pushing so hard with my left leg, I spun to my right.

At the peak of acceleration, all of the impact was absorbed by my right foot.

The end result: spiral fracture of the right ankle, tib, and fib.

I started this thread with the comment, "...I became the butt of a cosmic joke..." This is because, after 15 years of borderline suicidal climbing outside on real rock I get my first broken bone on a routine training session indoors - where it's supposed to be safe.

If that ain't irony, I don't know what is...

But wait - Murphy's Law doesn't end here. 10 days after the surgery, the ortho discovers an infection.

Back I go into the operating room. I get cut open again so they can irrigate and clean the infection.

Then they tell me that I have to get a PICC line installed. It's essentially a long-term iv line that goes from my left bicep to near my heart. For the next 6 weeks - minimum - I have to walk around with a small fanny-bag that holds the pump and two different types of antibiotics (ampicillin and vancomycin). I also have to take levaquin in a tablet form.

I got checked by the ortho again earlier today. Apparently, he doesn't like how the wound still looks. I may have to go back next week, get cut open again, get a small vacuum installed to my ankle, and get cut open again to irrigate and close the wound.

Yep - that makes four surgeries in four weeks.

Everyone out there - savor the ride. So what if you don't clean that tech section... So what if you get dropped on the climb... So what if you finish dead last in the race...

A lousy day of riding is never that bad when you know you can go ride the next morning.
 

·
XCdude
Joined
·
1,323 Posts
Wow you guys are awesome I was al proud

of my 10 screws and 1 plate, shoulder and left thumb. Life is one cosmic joke, tsunami thats a tv movie. I know two guys who lost their leg on motorcycle accidents, about 25 years apart you can harldy tell that there is anything with them. Both still ride motorcycles, one even goes to the track still. Hope you get better soon, even if soon is a few months away. Don 't try to do too much to soon or you might prolong your recovery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
I was lucky to escape my compound fracture with no infection. My ortho said I certainly would have with the dirt bushes and sock in the wound. That never occured. But I got an infection of a different type. In surgery I was given a blood transfusion. Found our 25 years later that had given me HepC. They had no test for it back then. Oh well I think I will die with it, not from it. Bone infections can be difficult. Hang in there!
About 7 years ago i also had a similar experiance on a wall that resulted in fracture of my left wrist and heel. I'm sticking to mountain bike racing now.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top