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  1. #1
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    Ankle injury and bicycling....NOW WITH IMAGERY

    Back in August I had a pretty horrible motorcycle wreck. Basically tore my left foot off. Broke the fibula which came out the inside of my foot, nearly severing it, and dislocating my tibia from the ankle joint. Pretty much the only thing holding my foot to my leg was some skin, and tendons/ligaments/blood vessels. I'm back on that foot now, have been for about 2 months. There is some pain and tenderness when walking, and swelling is not very bad, relatively speaking. My long drawn out question to you fine folks is this. Any one here suffer a serious joint injury? And how did it effect your bicycling? I was a long time bicyclist before throwing a leg over a murdercycle, so naturally I'd like to continue riding, at least at a semi competitive level. Thanks for any info anyone might have! and oh..... pics available upon request
    Last edited by goldencalf; 04-18-2012 at 06:19 PM.
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  2. #2
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    I broke my ankle in three pleces about two years ago, riding a bike with clipless pedals. Was riding on a bikepath after a rainstorm, rear wheel spun out and lost traction in a wet patch. Before I knew what happened, I was on my back in a mud puddle and my foot pointing to the side.
    Recovery took a long time. As soon as I could stand putting weight down, I was on the bike! At first, I could feel every crack in the pavement. Eventually, I was hitting easy trails. Now I'm doing everything I was doing before. Biking, hike a biking and lifting weights at the gym helped speed up recovery. It's going to be a long road, but don't give up!

  3. #3
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    Thanks buddy, that's very encouraging. I saw my surgeon yesterday. I basically told him that riding mtb on a competitive level was an absolute must. Now he's hooking me up with "his ankle guy" to see about fusing the joint. In the mean time he told me to try riding just to see how it felt. So today, I went out and did roughly 20 miles of single track. I was lacking a little bit of power on the ups, and it was a little tender through the super rough sections. But, overall I maintained about a 80% pace and felt great. I now have a lot of hope for the future, in terms of riding.
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  5. #5
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    Your injury was a lot more traumatic than mine, but in situations like this, it's all about heart and what you want to do with your life.
    How is walking up hills for you? My ankle was really stiff at first, making it hard to push the bike uphill. Now I have regained most of the range of motion, lifting the foot up (dorsiflexion) and am able to deal with any terrain.
    I read a story about an Xterra racer who broke her ankle and it never healed right. She wound up having an amputation, so she could race! Like I said, it's all about heart!
    Good luck in your recovery.
    Check out a group I'm a part of on Facebook, called: Ankle fractures and recovery. Your story would encourage many people!

  6. #6
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    Walking up hills kinda sucks, but it's getting better every day. My dorsiflexion is pretty limited. Thanks for the nice words, sadly I don't do the facebook thing. I did a 20 mile ride today, and maintained a pre-injury pace, maybe even a little quicker. I was pleased. Sometimes I have to fight back tears of joy. Life is good.
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  7. #7
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    Keep on trucking! It can only get better! Where do you ride? I'm from Phoenix, Az.

  8. #8
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    Actually, I live in the middle of Kansas. I know, exactly where you would imagine a healthy mountain bike scene to be, there aint a "mountain" for 500 miles. But we have some pretty stellar single track, just not a whole lot of it, and we don't have to fight altitude . Probably 80-90 miles total within an hour of where I live. If you've ever herd of Cameron Chambers, I'm from same town. Hell we went to high school together. However, once I'm fully recovered, I want to make a break for somewhere more MTB friendly.
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  9. #9
    Sweep the leg!
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    There is no way I'm opening those photos

    I had a syndesmosis tear in August and it's nearly healed after two surgeries. After the first surgery they thought I was fine for a couple of weeks so I put an easy gearing on my single speed and rode it around the lake down the street. I'd been off it for 4 months and it was difficult getting out of the saddle to climb. I was using BMX platform pedals so I could put the foot wherever it wanted to go, or needed to for less pain. The muscles in the leg were weak as a kitten but in a week or two I was riding on the road 40-50 miles without too much pain. but on reflection, the pain I had was caused by the lack of joint alignment and was the reason for the second surgery. My calf has atrophied to the degree I can see it's smaller than the other. Walking is painless and I have some limited dorsal range, but I still have two screws going through the lower Tib-Fib and I don't want to risk stressing them and breaking them. They'll come out soon enough.

    As for you, I still can't get brave enough to click on the links. I can't imagine the whole joint detaching .... ick. I used to assist with autopsies and worked in a hospital so I've seen stuff... but ick. Sorry, glad you're healing!
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  10. #10
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    gc, you're doing one of the best sport you could pick for a bum ankle.

    I had a subtalor compound dislocation in '92, and I'm biking harder than I ever have now. Running, hiking, jumping, rock climbing, skiing, sliding...those activities all take a bigger hit. I'll never run for fitness again. Not that I can't, but the aftermath is too steep a price. I've hiked 20 miles in a day, though there is a price to be paid (similarly but not as bad). I can MTB all day, and as long as I don't go nuts with the jumps/drops, I'm walking around after the ride like a normal person.

    Count your blessings!


    I swear by my 661 ankle brace:
    661 Ankle Race Brace 2010 | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com

    You can pull out the plastic stays and dish-shaped cup from the side pockets (velcro at top) for a more comfy all-day fit.

    Best wishes for the fullest recovery. Ice is your friend!

    Mike


    PS: Just checked out your pix. Thanks for posting. The skin breakage in the first pic is almost identical to my former hole. Did you wiggle your toes while your foot was dangling by soft tissue? It still works!

  11. #11
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    CP, I did the platform thing for a little while, but just could not stand NOT being clipped in. And, be brave, click the links

    She, thanks for the kind words. It's so encouraging to hear these things. I will have to check out that ankle brace. There is little pain riding, but some extra support would be nice. And yes I did wiggle my toes while the foot was dangling off my leg. Seeing them move was the one sliver of hope I had that the foot would be saveable.
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  12. #12
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    GF,
    Holee shiite - that's one ugly injury.
    Rolled an ankle to tear ligaments last January, 16 months ago, and was unable to walk for 3 weeks. Injury did not impair my riding, yet function is about 70%. Been trail hiking to strengthen lateral muscles, and yet often it still hurts. Keeping up the PT, as I cannot accept the lack of lateral support, and skiing made it feel broken.
    Glad to hear that you're healing, and best of luck in riding to recovery.
    The best is the one you want to ride most often..

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by She&I View Post
    gc, you're doing one of the best sport you could pick for a bum ankle.

    I had a subtalor compound dislocation in '92, and I'm biking harder than I ever have now. Running, hiking, jumping, rock climbing, skiing, sliding...those activities all take a bigger hit. I'll never run for fitness again. Not that I can't, but the aftermath is too steep a price. I've hiked 20 miles in a day, though there is a price to be paid (similarly but not as bad). I can MTB all day, and as long as I don't go nuts with the jumps/drops, I'm walking around after the ride like a normal person.

    Count your blessings!


    I swear by my 661 ankle brace:
    661 Ankle Race Brace 2010 | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com

    You can pull out the plastic stays and dish-shaped cup from the side pockets (velcro at top) for a more comfy all-day fit.

    Best wishes for the fullest recovery. Ice is your friend!

    Mike


    PS: Just checked out your pix. Thanks for posting. The skin breakage in the first pic is almost identical to my former hole. Did you wiggle your toes while your foot was dangling by soft tissue? It still works!
    My injury isn't quite as severe as the guys above, but I have sprained my ankle a few times. Does that 661 Racebrace go over the shoe? Also, how is the sizing? I have a size 11 foot, but have skinny ankles.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsac View Post
    Does that 661 Racebrace go over the shoe? Also, how is the sizing? I have a size 11 foot, but have skinny ankles.
    j, it goes over your sock, inside your shoe. It may look bulky in the pic, but it cinches down pretty svelte; enough to easily get it in a five tennie without sizing the shoe up. Very form fitting shoes could be more challenging. I was able to use it in a climbing shoe, so it could well work in a clipless bike shoe.

    Pretty sure it's one size fits all. I run 11 also, and have thin bones as well, so you'll prolly be fine.

    Rock on, kankle brothers

  15. #15
    Sweep the leg!
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldencalf View Post
    CP, I did the platform thing for a little while, but just could not stand NOT being clipped in. And, be brave, click the links .
    Nope, not gonna do it.

    I only used the BMX pedals because I couldn't get my foot in a cycling shoe due to the swelling. Once the swelling had lessened and I felt stable climbing, I was back to using both the Eggbeaters and Speedplays.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  16. #16
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    HAH yeah it was pretty bad. That's what happens when ya wad up a bike at 160 mph. Shoulda been wearing boots. At least I had my lid on.
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  17. #17
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    Went out and pounded about 30 miles of dirt roads today. Some decent climbs, well decent for Kansas. Pretty exhausted, which is nice. And my calf on my left (injured) leg is tired for the first time in like a year. I can feel the soreness, which to me means I'm starting to develop enough ROM in my ankle to "use" my calf more. The weather was perfect, and I loved it. I have also been dieting for the last 3ish months, and I can see the loss and feel the results on my bicycle. I feel great. I'm so happy to be alive right now.
    Last edited by goldencalf; 04-29-2012 at 11:51 PM.
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  18. #18
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    ^ mate! That is a hideous looking break! I have a few ankle issues myself, nothing that severe, but reading this has motivated me to start taking better care of my ankles now! Good luck and well done!

  19. #19
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    Nice pics. I fractured and dislocated my ankle in July and went back to work in October. I'll be riding for the first time this weekend, I guess I'm a little gunshy and afraid to step off the bike on my ankle again. Especially since that's all I basically did when i broke it the first time.

    Keep up the riding!

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