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Old 06-28-06, 04:19 PM   #1
thedoogs
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Crash recovery

Life on two wheels is inherently dangerous, whether powered by motor or legs. I accept that willingly. Life is too brief to not do what you are passionate about and cycling is my biggest passion.

I just recently suffered my worst crash in 39 years of riding and itís really not bad but I have a question about recovery time.

Three weeks ago, during my commute home from work, someone on the Burke Gillman Trail thought it was roller derby day and ran me off of the pavement. I think I handled it fairly well. I was traveling at roughly 15 mph, headed for a 90 degree turn when a guy on rollerblades coming from the opposite direction swung wide through this turn leaving me about 1 Ĺ feet of pavement going into the turn. I flicked the brake levers a couple of times trying to slow down without losing any traction but couldnít slow down enough to stay on the pavement. As soon as the front tire left the pavement the back tire slid out from under me and hip impacted the pavement fairly hard before I skidded to a stop in the gravel. I stayed relaxed and went down with the bike, knowing better than to try and bail out or reach out and catch myself.

I stood up and brushed myself off and immediately checked my joints and bones for injury. Finding all bones and joints intact I checked the bike. Phew! The bikeís ok, thank goodness!

The end result was a 4Ēx6Ē road rash that only took the top layer. Fortunately another cyclist was on the scene immediately and helped me evaluate my condition. The road rash stung but not too bad and the other cyclist handed me a few antiseptic towelettes from his first aid kit and sent me to the bathroom just 200 meters away to clean the wound. I rode strait to my favorite recreational equipment vendor and bought a box of Spyroflex bandages to cover the road rash and then went home for a thorough cleaning and dressing of the wound. The road rash healed in about a week thanks to the Spyroflex. A great product!

My question here is about the swelling that I woke up with the morning after. Like the idiot I can be from time to time, I didnít use ice on my hip like I should have. Itís been three weeks since the accident and I still look like Iím sporting a third butt cheek. The swelling has gone down a little but Iím wondering Ė how long does it take for swelling like this to heal? Is there anyone out there thatís experienced this before (I canít be the only one)? Any input is appreciated.

Thanks,

Dave
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Old 06-28-06, 07:18 PM   #2
DanO220
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I am a real bad bruiser. I have twice suffered hematomas on my thigh - the first from a motorcycle fall, and the second from a photography accident. (You know photography's a passion when you step off a partially constructed deck while trying to frame the shot just right!)

Anyway; your injury sounds quite similar to the one I suffered in the moto fall. I sustained very minor road rash through my denim jeans. But the next day the area was swollen and bruised. And perhaps more freaky than that, as the days passed and the initial swelling subsided I was left with a pocket of fluid which felt 'squishy' to the touch. Friends convinced me to visit the emergency room.

It wasn't really an emergency, but it was comforting to get a doctor's opinion. Often in a blunt force injury to a fleshy area, such as the hip, a pocket of blood and serum will form as part of the healing process. It is normal, and the body simply absorbs it over time. But you should watch for traditional indications of an infection - increased swelling, stabbing or throbbing pain, redness, and read streaks trailing from the injured area. In the event you think it has become infected you need to get to the doctor. Otherwise, it will heal on it's own.

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Old 06-29-06, 01:36 PM   #3
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I broke my shoulder May 22nd and it took a month for all the swelling to go down and the black and blue to clear up. Now if only I could get all the movement back in my arm, it takes time, be patient.
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Old 06-29-06, 01:52 PM   #4
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If the skin has healed over, get some Tiger Balm from a local walmart and use that before you go to bed at night. Its sort of like Icey Hot. That helps my swelling immensely. Just dont use it if you still have some exposed flesh because your not supposed to use it on exposed areas.

The worst wreck I had was about a month ago. You can still see where the roadrash was (I imagine I'll see it for at least a few months) and my wrist (the thing I hurt the most) just stopped hurting about a week ago.

So in a nutshell... a while. Took me 3 weeks and I didnt even break anything in my wrist. Up until recently I couldnt even put any weight on it or I got horrible pain. Ive been in some physical injuries that took literally 4-6 months before I was back in tip top working order.
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Old 06-29-06, 02:52 PM   #5
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3 weeks after my latest really bad hipper, the subcutaneous material (fat/muscle/whatever) is still slightly 'hard', swollen and tender. I did have the good luck of crashing somewhat close to home so I had access to a huge bag of frozen peas within the hour.
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Old 06-29-06, 02:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedoogs
. . . I stayed relaxed and went down with the bike, knowing better than to try and bail out or reach out and catch myself. . . .



Dave
Well, lucky me; I've always gone down with the bike, too, but more by accident than plan. Why should I plan to do what's always happened by accident?

To the question, though, I think each recovery is unique, and hemotomas (which this sounds like, kind of) are maddeningly slow. They do say that cold is the best treatment all the way through. They used to advise something like cold for the first 1/2 hour or so, followed by hotpacks.
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Old 06-29-06, 04:04 PM   #7
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Staying relaxed

It's a lot like when a drunk wrecks his car. If you try to fight all the way to the end and it's hard to control the bike. Then once the impact occures, all of the muscles that are tense, as well as tendons, risk tearing from additional strain. If you stay loose, most likely you'll just get bruised and scraped as you tumble.

Additionally, staying relaxed allows you more control over the bike. You can prove this to yourself by riding along side another cyclist who wants to test this as well. While riding side by side, have your friend reach over and put a hand on your shoulder and gently push and pull you to the side. Have him do this while you are nice and relaxed and have good cycling posture. Then get rigid and resist as he pushes and pulls on your shoulder again but be ready.

While in motion your bike wants to stay upright and go in a straight line. When you ride relaxed it will do this under most conditions very predictably. When you ride tensed up the bikes reaction to outside forces can be unpredictable.
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Old 06-29-06, 08:14 PM   #8
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Thanks, Dave. Anyway, I'm glad I'm getting something right without having to practice.
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