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  1. #1
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    I crashed and need help

    Hi all: Six weeks ago while riding a century ride in Maine I crashed and broke my acetabulum (hip socket bone) pelvis, in several pieces. It has been repaired and I'm now on crutches awaiting another 6 weeks wehn i can try to start walking again. So, I'm trying to think positively and ant to ride again. But at this point i'm scared ****less at the thought. Has anyone recovered from an injury like this and gotten back on the bike? How long did it take and did you ever get your courage back to be as good as you were prior to the accident. I'm 45 yrs. old and see my mortality now! Thanks for any and all feedback.
    Last edited by CbadRider; 09-06-11 at 10:10 PM. Reason: Corrected spelling so the censor wasn't defeated.

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    I'll bite...I went OTB recently on the way to work. I did need emergency medical treatment, but nothing nearly as bad as you. I have road rash and laceration only. I stayed off the bike for two weeks, and now I'm riding again but taking it easy. It's not easy though, not only because of physical conditioning, but something more psychological. Things I used to ride over without thinking twice are now distressing; I'll slow down before riding over even something like a patch of tar covering a pothole or I might avoid it completely.

  3. #3
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    I had a friend in my Road Club many years ago, do the exact same thing that you've done. It took him a year to return to the club after much encouragement and baiting. He was up and riding his usual self after only a few months on the road.

    IMHO, he could have returned much sooner, but he stayed down in the duldrums with depression for months, and didn't adhere to any physical therapy suggestions.

    Once he started seriously doing his physical therapy, he improved in record time.

    Just follow the advice of the experts and you should be just fine.

    Don't Worry! Be Happy!
    Last edited by SlimRider; 09-05-11 at 03:56 PM.

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    Waht sent you OTB? Part of my deal is that i got a concussion too. i blacked out the crash and the first 1.5 hrs. after. so i have no idea. Wierd thing is no flat tires, and my knuckles were cut and not my finger tips. I must not have even let go of the bars! So, do you think your crash jus tmade you safer? Or are you over cautious? Do you feel a bit scared? Do you think it will pass?

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    I am doign all P.T. recommended. I have set goals. Maybe I'm thinking too far ahead. I see everything as a hazard now though when i look out the car window. I never thought like that before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adambomb View Post
    I am doign all P.T. recommended. I have set goals. Maybe I'm thinking too far ahead. I see everything as a hazard now though when i look out the car window. I never thought like that before.
    I was once attacked by a pitbull. I thought the attack was going to changed my entire life. For about a year, I hated all dogs. The following year, I met my wife, who had a German Shepherd. After we got married, we bought a house. Our neighbors all had pitbulls. One of our neighbor's dogs had puppies. My wife bought one without my knowledge or permission. One morning, I heard whimping in the basement. When I went down there to investigate, I looked into the eyes of the best friend I'd ever have for the rest of my life.

    So you see. Our thought processes change with time. Time changes everything...

  7. #7
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    Hhhmmm. interesting.
    Anyone else I'd love to hear about recovery stories. they are a bit hard to find on the internet.

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    I did not lose consciousness. If I did, I probably would have laid there for an hour before someone saw me or until I woke up. I rode about 3/4 mi to the hospital afterwards.

    I remember trying to avoid a stick on the MUP. I remember slowing down using the front brake and then all of a sudden I went OTB. I thought I cleared it, but I think I must have hit the end of the stick and that in combination with the brake make the front wheel stop turning. If it were dry out, I would have just run over the stick no problem, but the MUP was still wet from the overnight fog so I didn't want the stick sliding if I ran over it. The stick was no bigger than one of big pencils that kids get when they are first learning to write.

    I don't feel that I'm riding any safer than before, rather I am overly cautious and sometimes even anxious about anything I see. The stuff I used to ride over like patches of tar are perfectly safe to ride over, but they scare me or make me nervous.

    I went through something similar after I crashed my car (car entering intersection from my right ran a stop sign). The collision happened while I was going about 40 MPH and I hit the F150 hard enough that it was rotated more than 90 degrees from its direction of travel. Probably for the next year or so, every time I was saw a car approaching in a similar way, I got nervous that the car would pull out and I would crash into it. It was tough at first, but it went away as I drove more. My anxiety when riding will probably end up the same way.
    Last edited by jsdavis; 09-05-11 at 05:35 PM.

  9. #9
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    Spent 8 days in a coma from a motorcycle accident. Listened to the Drs and didn't drive or ride until they said it was OK. The first couple rides I was kinda apprehensive and timid but it went away. That was 25 years and many,many thousands of miles ago. Fear is normal but terror is not. Find someone you trust to talk with about it.
    I owe-therefore I am.

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    Possibly your apprension about getting back on the bike is caused by a lack of knowledge as the reasons for the crash and how to prevent or limit the chances of another similar crash. Recognizing that shi_ happens and sometimes your luck runs short,

    I would think that thru a bit. Then maybe re-examine the reasons to return to cycling. If you're like me and most others here, you love cycling and could not see it as a major part of your life.

    That pretty much gets me thru the countless crashes (though none as bad as yours, knock, knock) and thru the recovery.

    I currently have major issues with my R shoulder, including a torn bicep tendon and impingement at the end of the clavicle. Both prevent me from swimming, my other major exercise activity (I'm a better swimmer then cyclist). I put off the surgery to get thru the riding season and will deal with it in the winter. When the problem cropped up, the orthopedist asked me "How many times have you dis-located your shoulder". Not "looks like a dis-located shoulder", but how many times, as that's what the shoulder looked like in the MRI. I could not think of one incident that bad, discounting the countless mt. bike falls, and occasional x-country ski fall, and one or two times on the road bike with OTB's etc....

    I may well keep this orthopedist group in business, but not a penny to the cardiologist !

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    Yeah, I hear you. I think in part it does have to do with having NO idea as to why I crashed. I could have been hit by a car, could have run off the shoulder and flipped onto the pavement. But I have no ability to learn from the crash and say,"wow, I won't do that again". I didn't get a flat tire, no bent rim, oddly I did have a slight crack right above my bottom bracket in the carbon frame ( 3 week old Cannondale synapse 2 hi mod) and the hand shifters a slightly bent inward. Steve B. You have had a lot of injuries to my one major one. It's hard to decide who is to envy who!
    How long does it take for atrophy muscles to come back? Anyone have an average idea?

  12. #12
    Senior Member toytech's Avatar
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    I separated my left shoulder after and otb on my mountain bike last year, I was back on the bike before I was able to go back to work.
    Off work about 2.5 monthes, off bike about 1 month. Class 5 AC separation. (tore the end of my collar bone off on the outside).
    My doctor just said "that sucks" recommended against surgery to repair, said "the scar tissue will fill it in" and "you will just have a pointy shoulder" They don't fix anything after you turn 40, "it is just like that now" I am 46.
    A coworker had the exact same injury after hitting rail road tracks wrong and his doctor said "we have to surgically repair it or you will never wrench again" we are both auto mechanics...he was off 10 months.
    Crap happens get back on and ride as soon as you can. When you stop living your life, you start dying.
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  13. #13
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    had 3 bad crashes while skating my longboard, all while doing 5 to 10 mph. first time landed on the knees and couldn't walk for about 15 minutes. after three months they were working better then they have in years. second time bounced my chin off of the asphalt, don't remember falling, bled like a stuck pig, broke a molar and should have had stitches in the chin and above the right eye. third time bounce the forehead above the right eye off of the asphalt again. should have had stitches that time too and knocked something loose in the right eye. after the third crash i took it easy for about a year. now i'm back to being careless and looking for trouble. pain passes, worst was the tooth, they don't heal and have to be fixed. having more fun now than i've had in the first 55 years lol

  14. #14
    Senior Member Kimmitt's Avatar
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    I actually changed how I rode for a couple years after my one serious accident, where I went OTB. I rode nothing but cruisers for about a year and a half, until I started wanting to ride mountain bike style bikes again. I knew I was pretty frightened by the whole experience, so I gave myself space to heal up both externally and internally.
    I see unexamined people. All the time. I don't think they know they're unexamined.

  15. #15
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    I was on vacation with the family in 01’ we drove from Texas to Washington State. I had 2 weeks off so we were taking out time. While in Washington I was playing basket ball with the kids. Went up and came down on the knee wrong ACL was blown out previously but I did not realize it before. So I dislocated my knee, split the tibia bone, tore and folded the meniscus disk, all on top of the previously blown ACL.

    We took a week to drive back down to Texas, another week of scans, test, x-rays and surgery, 6 more weeks on crutches, another 2 months of physical therapy. After nearly a year of work I was back up to where I could leg press 500#. Where I was before the injuries occured.

    Took a couple of years before I fully trusted the knee again, and now I have to think about which leg it was… But I can not run long distance per The Doc. Riding is good to go.

    I continue to break bones, twist ankles, smash fingers and hurt myself. You can take precautions so the damage is not substantial but if you want to push your on boundaries there will always be a risk of injury. The older I get the less I push, but being an adrenaline junkie and dopamine addict you will not break the cycle, the best you can hope for is to learn to control it.

  16. #16
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    I only had a minor crash in comparison to yours I went OTB, did a face plant on a concrete road, broke off my front two teeth, smacked my head, tore my lip and skinned both arms. I was worried about being scared of riding so I was riding 40 miles the next week in full bandages.

    Just follow doctors orders and do some short distances when he says it ok to ride and you'll be riding like before the crash in no time.

    But, if you decide that you don't want to ride since it is too risky then that's your choice and everyone should respect that.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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    I had a major accident on a motorcycle in 07, lost my left foot among other things. It took me a little while to even get used to the idea of being on a motorcycle again, and took my time about trying it out again. I had decided that I would borrow a friends, and see if I felt the "fear", knowing it was no good to even try if I couldn't get over that. Well, I didn't. Instead I was cautious for the first few months and became comfortable with it at my own pace. Now, I ride regularly. I would like to think that getting back on a bicycle helped me along.
    One Foot Less

  18. #18
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    Three years ago I was riding on a beautiful day, the Tuesday after Labor Day, when I wasn’t paying enough attention and was surrounded by a pack of dogs. As I was trying to keep them from biting my heals, one must have taken out my front wheel because the next thing I knew, I was flat on my butt on the pavement, not feeling so good. An ambulance picked me up and took me to a good trauma hospital where they found that I had no head injury despite of damage to my helmet, but did have a separation pelvic fracture and internal bleeding. I had one operation to put in a plate to reattach the pelvic bones, four units of hole blood and 2 weeks in the hospital, 2 weeks in a rehab hospital across the street, and two months at home cruising around in a wheelchair.

    What concerned me most was the perception that my balance was worse than it was before. There was some question as to whether I would walk again much less ride. After the time in the wheelchair, then crutches and a cane, I am walking fine now. I finally got back on a bike in April, 8 mo. after my crash. I was pleasantly surprised that I could ride better than I could walk, but I only rode about 4 or 5 times that entire summer. It was the following year before I really started to ride. I figured that it took about 20 mo. to recover from the crash. If you think it is hard at 45, I am now 63. It doesn’t get any better with age.

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    I have spent multiple weeks off the bike on at least 3 occasions due to injuries not related to cycling. In each case and due to 23 seasons of riding, my leg muscles had a lot of memory and had developed to the point that the muscle groups were pretty much ready to go, just needing the time to regain any conditioning lost.

    The question in your case is can you do the re-hab neccessary to limit the fitness loss, thought that's not crucial as you do gain it back, but as well do the rehab required to allow you to continue to enjoy your sport. Talk to a sports therapy specialist and tell them you're a cyclist and want to go back to doing it. They'll have you on a spin bike ASAP as it's part of the therapy.

  20. #20
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    I came off my mtb last June and ended up with 4 fractures of my upper right humerus along with many other abrasions and cuts. I was doing some free riding at a mtn bike park outside Seattle WA. I missed a jump I had successfully completed 6 times prior to my fall. My wife was right behind me and saw me go down. I was a mess. Couldn't work. Needed help to do most daily tasks. My self-esteem plummeted. It sucked.

    We talked to lots of fellow riders/my doctors about possible ways to accelerate the healing process and improve my ugly mood. We went to several LBS's and decided buying that road bike we had already been talking about just might be the answer. Along with a stationary trainer. We couldn't put the mtb on the stationary trainer since the rear axle on my Trek Fuel EX8 wasn't compatible. So I had the impetus to dive into a road bike (a 2011 Trek Madone 5.2 no less! That was a hell of a carrot eh???!!!). This ended up opening pandora's box!! In an awesome way!

    At first putting my weight on that arm on the handlebars hurt like hell. So I pedaled on the Cyclops trainer one handed. This got my cardio up and going which proved to be key to improving my overall "moodiness" about not being able to ride. A couple weeks later I was able to support myself with both arms. Soon enough I was out on the road logging miles.

    I had to be UBER UBER careful!!!! My arm even today is still fragile. And I've yet to ride a single foot of singletrack. Road cycling and railroad grades on the mtb are all I'm comfortable with!! But I'm logging miles and losing weight and feeling MUCH BETTER!!

    My advice, buy a stationary trainer! It will help you get back on the bike in a safe/controlled manner. It will help to lift you out of the funk yer in!! Take your time, go EASY at first. Work up to a normal ride. Listen to both your body and your doctor! Put that stationary trainer in front of the TV or a laptop and watch movies and grind away.

    My recovery started when I was able to ride a stationary trainer. Once my system was able to feel the cardio workout that lifted my mood!!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adambomb View Post
    Hi all: Six weeks ago while riding a century ride in Maine I crashed and broke my acetabulum (hip socket bone) pelvis, in several pieces. It has been repaired and I'm now on crutches awaiting another 6 weeks wehn i can try to start walking again. So, I'm trying to think positively and ant to ride again. But at this point i'm scared sh*tless at the thought. Has anyone recovered from an injury like this and gotten back on the bike? How long did it take and did you ever get your courage back to be as good as you were prior to the accident. I'm 45 yrs. old and see my mortality now! Thanks for any and all feedback.
    On the outside chance that you either can't, won't or are told not to ride two wheels again take heart!

    There is a wide variety of trikes of all kinds for your cycling pleasure. Not one damn thing wrong with a sweet trike mate. Not one damn thing..........

    At the end of the day it is your choice to ride two wheels or three wheel or four just as long as you ride what YOU feel most comfortable and safe on.

    Ride on...............
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  22. #22
    Goodbye Leeroy Jenkins tagaproject6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adambomb View Post
    Hi all: Six weeks ago while riding a century ride in Maine I crashed and broke my acetabulum (hip socket bone) pelvis, in several pieces. It has been repaired and I'm now on crutches awaiting another 6 weeks wehn i can try to start walking again. So, I'm trying to think positively and ant to ride again. But at this point i'm scared sh*tless at the thought. Has anyone recovered from an injury like this and gotten back on the bike? How long did it take and did you ever get your courage back to be as good as you were prior to the accident. I'm 45 yrs. old and see my mortality now! Thanks for any and all feedback.
    I feel for you. The most difficult thing to overcome is the psychological barrier and different people react differently regarding trauma (physical and psychological). Take your time and talk about it...what makes it worse is keeping the fear inside and it manifests itself in totally different and sometimes unrelated way. We all have different coping mechanisms and I hope that you find yours.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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  23. #23
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    Thank you all for the thoughts i will have to find what device resinates for me for the recovery. Vertical flyer your idea about getting the cardio back to lift my mood is a good one. I'm in such a crappy funk. Problem is my left leg could hardle move the darn crank around. But I'm going to stick with my three day a week 20 minute try on the stationary and hopefully I can start spinning to a point where I can feel those natural endorphins again. It's like I went cold turkey on them and all body movement. At least the Dr. Is letting me do that before I can walk (6 more weeks!)

  24. #24
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    Well I fell into a pothole one day and broke my fork. Subsequently, I tried to stop the Earth with my face and ended up with 10 stitches and a new front rabbit tooth.

    To be sure, this accident is nowhere near as bad as the OP accident. However, I can still related to the mental block associated with not wanting to ride right away.

    I basically took public transit and found every excuse not to ride for about 3 months. One day my mom told me that I had really gained a lot of weight. That's when it hit me.

    Been on the bike harder than ever before ever since. .

    I hope you don't let your accident turn you off too long, OP. The roads weren't any more or less dangerous before or after your accident. We all ride it (and enjoy it) everyday, and so should you

  25. #25
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    Adambomb, I've had my share of crashes, motorcycle included, and never had a problem returning to riding. My worst crashes were on a bicycle as there's just not enough speed to slide, I guess. One, which involved broken and cracked bones was a bit like yours, I didn't know the cause. I also had to ride back five miles to my starting point in the dark, that was fun.

    Anyway, I returned to the site and determined that my front tire had fallen into a crack in the asphalt. Having a probable cause helped just for the peace of mind. I am still a little overly cautious, at the least more aware, of catching my front tire. The old adage about getting back on the bike after falling is the best advice I can give.

    Brad

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