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  1. #1
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    Road rash and resulting pain, how long does it last?

    Did something REEEEEEEEAL stupid today, and got a nice hunk of road rash directly on the kneecap on my right knee. I was just heading out to run an errand from work, hopped on the bike, pedaled maybe 1/2 of a revolution with my right foot, the back wheel came loose and jammed, bike stops moving, and I go down immediately. It was my fault for not checking the QR, but I have ridden the bike for 2 weeks and not had a problem.
    Well, because I was going about 1 MPH, I landed with all my weight on my kneecap, which has a lovely 1/4 inch by 1 inch long hunk of skin missing, and a scrape that covers the whole knee. My question is, how should I go about letting it heal, and how long will this wonderful pain last? I am trying to keep my knee bent as much as possible, only because I'm concerned that if it scabs over with my leg straight, when I go to bend it, I'll explode. I have it covered, have some NeoSporin on it, and I cleaned it out good when it happened (running water, peroxide, lots of screaming, etc etc).
    I know this is a rather sissy-like road rash because I wasn't theoretically even MOVING when it happened, but I'm hoping for some input to speed the healing process.
    Thanks everyone.

  2. #2
    Closet Bike-a-holic tourist's Avatar
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    1. Get the Neosporen with the pain killer in it.

    2. Get the 3M bandages that don't stick to wounds.

    3. DO NOT put gauze on it. It'll take forever to pick it out.

    4. Leave uncovered for a while each day.

    5. Knees take sometime to heal because every bend re-opens the wound.

    Good Luck
    The road don't go nowhere, stays right where it is.

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  3. #3
    SNARKY MEMBER CardiacKid's Avatar
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    Periodically apply more Neosporin. Probably 2 or 3 times a day will suffice. This will keep it from drying out and cracking and speed your "recovery". It will probably be bothersome for about a week and should be almost fully healed in 2 weeks.
    It is fairly common to compare scabs during breaks at group rides.
    One time, I was riding along in the country when someone comes up beside me and says, "hey, it looks like you crashed the same day as me". At that point he held up his elbow and told me the day he crashed. Welcome to the group.

  4. #4
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    what tourist said - keep neosporin (or a similar product on it) after it's cleaned out of course - then keep it covered w/ a no-stick pad - change it a couple 'o times per day depending upon how much it's leaking - you will heal 10x faster than if you let it dry out and scab up.

  5. #5
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about the low/zero speed tumble man. Its been an age since I last went down (goes off to find wood to knock on...) but your idea to keep the knee bent during the initial healing is probably a pretty good one. I'd say 24hours till you start forgetting its there till you do something stupid to it. Several years ago I had two moles removed, one from the back side of each knee (well 1" below the back of the knee) at the same time. I did the stupid thing and bent them while they started to heal. I walked like Steve Urkel from that 80's sitcom for a week after that. Happy that no pictures exist of me like that!

    Keep the wound clean, and wear the battle wound proudly. Now sit back, drink a beer, and come up with a better story about how you got it!
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    Another thing you probably want to do is ice the knee. If it took your fall, odds are good that it will swell up in about 2-3 days (don't ask me how I know this). Other than that, keep it clean, rest it for a day or two, and hope for the best.

    God bless!
    Wayne J.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the suggestions. Luckily, I ususally heal pretty quickly, so I'm hoping that's the case here.

    Hey Cuda, I think I really DO need a better story. I can't even blame it on being 'clipped in'. I just fell over. I looked around (while on the ground) for what I got stuck on, thinking I hit something like a rock. Couldn't find anything, got up, and noticed that the bike wasn't 'rolling along' anymore. I must've looked really cool.

    I'm glad I asked, because I was going between keepng it covered and letting the air get to it. Looks like it'll stay covered.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nemonis
    Another thing you probably want to do is ice the knee. If it took your fall, odds are good that it will swell up in about 2-3 days (don't ask me how I know this). Other than that, keep it clean, rest it for a day or two, and hope for the best.

    God bless!
    Wayne J.
    I can already see bruising around the knee. Once I can tolerate the ice, I'll do just that. Thanks!

  9. #9
    LeMond Lives! Dusk's Avatar
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    Ask the Doctor - with Dawn Richardson
    Dealing with road rash
    By Dawn M. Richardson, MD FACEP

    This report filed May 14, 2003
    You've probably been there before: Up all night between stages because you have a fresh batch of road rash and it's throbbing. Every time you roll over in bed, your nasty gooey aching hip sticks to the sheets and wakes you up in pain. Your significant other is grossed out and reminds you that you get to do the laundry for the next few weeks.
    If you're a cyclist in a stage race, you probably dread facing the next stage because your body aches like an NFL lineman on Monday morning. You are leaking icky wound goo on your skin suit on the starting line the next morning. Yuck. Wouldn't it be great to make it all go away, start the stage pain-free, and forget about your injury as you challenge for GC?
    Here are two lists of my favorite products for road rash. One is for those on a tight budget or without access to hospital grade supplies. The other is the best of the best and will make your road rash experience almost forgettably painless. Some superstitious people hate the idea of going to a race prepared for the worst, as if they are counting on falling. It happens to the best bike handlers, so get real. Make an agreement with your teammates that someone keeps the road rash kit in the back of their car for the season-you'll be grateful when one of you hits the deck.
    The poor man's road rash kit
    · Mild antibacterial liquid soap
    · Washcloth
    · Gallon of bottled water
    · Bottle of cheap generic Ibuprofen (Motrin IB)
    · Triple Antibiotic Ointment (like Neosporin)
    · Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline)
    · Thin Maxipads with non-adherent top layer ("dri-weave')
    · White drugstore ribbon tape
    · Scissors
    · Cheap support pantyhose in your size, and in a smaller size that fits your arm
    · Clear fingernail polish
    · Non-prescription topical anaesthetic
    · Butterfly tapes
    Feminine products for even the manliest athlete
    Maxipads, pantyhose and nail polish?!?!?! Okay, okay. I admit it. Some of the stuff on the list sounds weird, but it works.
    Here's what to do with your road rash: First, see if there is an ambulance staged on scene with a crew that is willing to help you out. One caveat: If you are uninsured, you may be sent a bill even if they don't transport you to the hospital. But more often that not you can get care from them for free. They may have plush supplies on the truck that they can use to clean and dress your wound.
    If there is no ambulance on scene, the first thing to do is take two to four 200mg ibuprofen with food 45 minutes prior to cleaning you wound. The maximum dose is 800mg every six hours and no more than 2400mg in 24 hours. If you are prone to gastritis or ulcers go with Tylenol (Acetaminophen) 650-1000 mg, no more than 1000mg every 4 hours or 4 grams in 24 hours. Your pain tolerance will be maxed 45 minutes to one hour after you take the ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Don't skimp on the ibuprofen if you're in pain. It's especially helpful right before bedtime so you can get some sleep. An hour before your scheduled start time the next day is another good time for ibuprofen.
    <B< and in>
    Apply a thin layer of the non-prescription topical anaesthetic, scream, then wait a couple minutes for it to numb your throbbing road rash. If you are subject to dope control, notify them about the topical anaesthetic when you give your sample. Show them your road rash. U.S. Anti-doping lists lidocaine as a legal substance but you should also notify dope control to be safe.
    Clean the wound with mild antibacterial soap and the washcloth and plenty of water. The time-worn saying among surgeons is: "The solution to the pollution is dilution."
    Only scrub hard enough to get the gravel out to prevent gravel from tattooing your wound. Any harder is unnecessary and you risk damaging tissue and delaying the healing process. With wounds that sport that nice deep gravel, try soaking in the tub and then using tweezers to get out the really nasty stuff.
    Keep it dry
    Gently pat your road rash damp-dry. Apply a thin layer of triple antibiotic ointment to the wound. You may need an additional thin layer of petroleum jelly to keep the dressing from sticking to the road rash. As an aside, a layer of petroleum jelly or A&D diaper cream on your sensitive parts before a race will greatly reduce your chances of unpleasant chamois chafing on hot days.
    My recommendation for thin maxipads may sound really goofy, but they are the cheapest possible wound dressing, and also provide a bit of padding. This is especially nice for road rash on hips or shoulders, the places most likely to hit the ground first. The maxipad keeps the road rash from rubbing inside your skinsuit, and minimizes the damage if you fall again on the same spot. Paper tape doesn't stick very well. I recommend ribbon tape, which has a little more adhesive, but may be more likely to cause a tape allergy.
    Tape the maxipad in place. This is as good as it's going to get on a low budget. Change your dressing daily, washing gently in the shower. If your dressing is sticking to the wound, don't rip it off. Soak in the tub for 20 minutes and it should peel off easily.
    In a hard next day race, the tape may fail, therefore go with the pantyhose. Again this sounds really silly, but if you can't afford the spiffy white fishnet that the pros use, this is your best option. Size the pantyhose to your wound and dressing and cut it several inches too long on both ends. Paint the cut ends with the clear nail polish to stop the cut panty hose from unraveling.
    On second thought maybe a leftover bottle of your ex-girlfriends fire engine red toenail polish would be more stylish. Perhaps a loud color to match your team kit. Come on... express yourself! The color possibilities are endless.
    Slide the pantyhose in place and you're good to go. Your dressings should stay in place. You can get really creative with the scissors and cut out the pantyhose only where your chamois goes to keep hip, thigh and butt road rash dressings in place.
    Check your wounds daily for increasing redness, swelling, pain, pus or foul smelling drainage. These are all signs of infection and you should seek medical attention. If it's been 5 years since your last tetanus shot, go to the ER. Dying of lockjaw would be a pretty stupid way to finally get your name in VeloNews. After a couple of days you may want to let your road rash air out daily after you shower to keep it from getting too gooey.
    The butterfly tape is for deeper cuts that don't quite need stitches. Again, flush out the wound with plenty of clean water, pat dry and tape it. If the edges of the wound pull apart widely, if it has some depth to it, if it's really filthy, or it won't stop bleeding, you need medical attention and probably stitches. No room for stoicism here-it can take weeks for these cuts to heal on their own and they leave much uglier scars without attention.
    Premium road rash kit extras
    · Duoderm 4x4 Extra Thin CGF Dressing (ConvaTec/Bristol-Myers Squibb)
    · Tegaderm
    · Hibiclens
    · Surgical scrub brushes
    · 2% lidocaine jelly* (AstraZeneca)
    · 4x4 gauzes
    · White fishnet mesh-2 sizes to fit arm and leg
    If God made road rash cream
    As a cyclist and a doctor, I am convinced that if there is a god he made these for road rash. Believe me, the manufacturer isn't paying me to say this.
    Buy Duoderm and the fishnet mesh at a medical supply store. You're unlikely find them at the local drugstore. Duoderm is designed for chronically ill elderly people with non-healing diabetic wounds. It'll blow a little road rash on a healthy cyclist right out of the water.

    In layman's terms Duoderm has magical physiological goo in the adhesive that makes a gel with your oozy wound secretions and accelerates wound healing. These patches make the deepest road rash go from throbbing weeping raw nerve endings to happy pink nearly completely healed skin in about a week. They completely bypass the scab and pain stage. It's like a fake layer of skin, so you don't feel more than a slight ache under your skinsuit or even lying in bed with your weight on it.
    Some people get a slight skin allergy to the adhesive after a couple of days, but this is far outweighed by the benefits. Another downside is the cost. A box of 10 4x4 Duoderm patches costs about 50 bucks, and they don't sell them singly. But look, if you're out there plying the roads on a $4000 bike, it may be worth your while to spring a few bucks on this stuff.
    The dressings stay in place for days under normal conditions, but in a stage race they may fall apart and need to be changed daily. Perhaps you and a friend can split a box, or your bike store or team manager can buy a box and sell them in singles.
    Tegaderm is a thinner bioocclusive dressing that works well, but not nearly as well as Duoderm. If you are too cheap for Duoderm or Tegaderm, 4x4 cotton gauzes can be used for your dressing. Be sure to apply triple antibiotic ointment and petroleum so they don't stick. Skip the triple antibiotic cream and Vaseline if you are using Duoderm-you want the adhesive right up against your wound. 4x4 gauzes can also be taped strategically on your Duoderm because there will be some goo leakage from the dressing.
    Two-percent lidocaine jelly is available by prescription. It's much stronger than the non-prescription variety. If you've lost a lot of skin, use it sparingly because there is a limit to how much lidocaine is safe. Again, show dope control your road rash if you are tested, document that you used the lidocaine and you should have no problems clearing dope control.
    Shurclens is the best wound cleanser. It does the job without damaging the tissues. Please don't pour peroxide on your wound-it's too damaging and will delay wound healing. Hibiclens is the next best wound cleanser. Disposable surgical prep sponges with bristles on one side and a sponge on the other impregnated with sterilizing skin cleanser are nice, but don't scrub any harder than you need to get the gravel out.
    Even the best bike handlers drop and roll sometimes. It doesn't have to ruin your race or your training for the next week. If you try these products after the next time you slide out, it will change everything and turn your experience from misery to nuisance.
    Have fun, stay safe and if you do hit the pavement, treat your wounds right.
    Dawn Richardson is a board certified emergency medicine physician in practice at Saint Anne's Hospital in Fall River, Massachusetts. She is frequent contributor to SG: surf snow skate girl magazine, and is interested in health-related issues for cyclists, and women's health. She welcomes medical questions pertaining to cycling, bearing in mind that if it ain't emergency medicine she may have to do some work to figure out an answer. Please send your questions or issues to "Ask the Doctor" in care of WebLetters@7Dogs.com

  10. #10
    Красный Октябрь mellowdave's Avatar
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    BWAHAHAHHA the pain lasts FOREVER!!!





    heal quick, its just a scratch.
    All posts are crafted by an adult, for adults. Not responsible for hurt feelings, snot bubbles or tears. If something someone says to you on an internet forum affects your happiness, you have issues. Get in touch with your true self.

  11. #11
    Senior Member rpc180's Avatar
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    Sounds like mine:



    The scabs are pretty flexible and I could bend it easily after 48 hours. I'm not sure if its swelling or stretching of scabs that's causing the current discomfort. The bruising I don't expect to go away for a while. I figured I'd be back on the bike by Friday or Saturday, but with the rain I'll probably be off until next week. I guess I can go to spinning classes on Saturday if I'm really feeling fine.
    cdale r700, r3000, centurion accordo

  12. #12
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    The reason for the pain is that when you scrape yourself (as in road rash) you expose nerve endings in the skin, which are very sensitive. So even air moving across your wound can be painful.

    The only way to get around that is to cover the wounds. If you can get your hands on some Duoderm dressing as mentioned in that very comprehensive article posted by Dusk, then use that. Failing that, a non-stick dressing with some triple antibiotic ointment is a good second alternative. If it is too painful to apply the ointment directly to the wound, then you can smear it on the dressing and place that over the wound (not as good as direct application, but better than nothing ).

  13. #13
    Whateverthehell Chucklehead's Avatar
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    i'm starting to enjoy posting this pic

    that was a week ago, and as most people have said...neosporin. well, that and since it's on my butt, i've been using those big 4x4 bandages to cover it, changing them 3 or 4 times a day. it healed up pretty fast. yesterday was the first time in a week i was able to get dressed without having to worry about touching my butt.
    "When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." - Leonardo daVinci

  14. #14
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Neosporin also has a triple-antibiotic product with some painkillers in it. Don't know what that particular compound is, but it works pretty well. Also repeat what the others said, keep it covered in antibiotic-ointment, change your dressing about 2x a day and you'll be fine in a week with no scarring.

  15. #15
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    Good news everyone! It seems to be healing pretty well. I took everyone's advice with the Neosporin and keeping it covered, and it already looks much better than yesterday. And the Neosporin with the pain killer in it is fabulous. The only problem I have encountered so far is finding adhesive bandages in a size that will fit. Many have a small pad, which doesn't work, but I did find a Band-Aid brand one that is about 4x4, so that one gets the job done.

    I think I may have scar after all, even with this treatment, as the one cut is really pretty deep, and the skin got cut out, so it's just a valley, for lack of the correct medical term. Hopefully I'll come up with a better story for the scar than "I fell riding at 1 MPH".

  16. #16
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Hell, you guys forgot to tell duane041 about one of the best painkillers -- booze. That helps relieve provide temporary relief for the bruised ego as well as the knee.

    Cuda hints at it, but it would take me much more than one beer to feel OK about sustaining an injury after a 1mph crash....

  17. #17
    CAT6 UTP 568B thewalrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duane041
    The only problem I have encountered so far is finding adhesive bandages in a size that will fit. Many have a small pad, which doesn't work, but I did find a Band-Aid brand one that is about 4x4, so that one gets the job done.
    I found self adhesive bandages to not be ideal for road rash... Medium and large gauze pads cut to fit and then surrounded with surgical tape work well. By using surgical tape you can also keep sticky parts away from the wounded area more easily.

    The last road rash I had was the size of a playing card directly over my right hip bone... I came down and slid on the hip at 30+kph. It took off all the layers of skin down to the meaty part underneath. The healing process was several weeks, it made pants a bit difficult with its location on the hip.




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