Long Story: broken back, ribs, dislo shoulder, collapsed lung....
Its funny the first thing I did when I registered for this mtn bike forum was to find the injuries threads. In 1993 I had a fairly horrendous downhill accident.
I thought I might add my list to the fray, bear in mind this is from just a single accident:
1) Fractured vertebrae T8, T9, T10, T11, T12, L1 and L2. The T10 was fractured front to back and the pedicle on the T8 was snapped off.
2) Hemoraging in the caudal canal, its the the space the spinal cord is suspended in.
3) 2 broken ribs right side I think ithey were the T10 and T11
4) Dislocated right shoulder
5) Concussion- grade 3-4
6) Pinched sciatic nerve in the right leg, could move leg just not feel it. Lasted about 3 months, now I get numb patches in the leg sporadically.
Now the story, stupid doesn't begin to describe it and lucky is only the begining.
Living in Utah at the time there is a nice ride at medium altitude called Payson Lakes Loop, near the Blackhawk campground. Two friends and I went for a ride before work early in the morning, we drove to our favorite trailhead and parked. A great ride up the canyon. However, on the way down one friend and I decided to race the road back down and have our friend pick up the truck and meet at the canyon exit- 8 miles I think on asphault.
At one of the longer straights we ran into some free grazing cattle (completely legal not a problem). These are not little sickly run of the mill bovines, these were bigger beefers getting ready to show up at the OUTBACK steakhouse later. They were lined up on the left and right hand sides of the two lane road leaving plenty of room to go down the middle.
There were about 20-25 cattle, and as anyone who knows cattle can testify it doesn't take a whole lot to get them freaked out and running around. Yep you guessed it, the ones on the left side freaked out and went right, and the ones on the right side freaked out and went left leaving my friend and I out room and out of luck.
He laid his bike down immediately (lots of scrapes and cutes) I on the other hand thought I could wind my way through. No and no again. The very first thing I did was cut left to dodge my friend on the ground and as I did that I slammed into the shoulder blade of a cow! The cow was at least 5 feet tall, easily close to half a ton if not a full ton and all I can say is that it hurt ALOT!
I had just enough time to clinch my sphincter and close my eyes.
I don't know what happened but our buddy trailing us in the truck said he came around the corner in time to see me about 10feet in the air spinning with my bike still clipped in only to see me land on my head and get TRAMPLED by two more cows.
The impact disclocated my shoulder and collapsed my lung and I most likely pinched the sciatic nerve on impact (along with the concussion) however when the cows stepped on me one stepped on my right shin and femove a 3 inch chunk of skin and the other stepped square in my back. Ribs and vertabrae getting crunched.
6 hours of operations, 3 months recovery and I was back on my bike.
I now have 7 SS screws and too short rods in my back holding the T10-T12 together and the pedicle at the T8 onto the vertabrae.
10months later I broke two more ribs, and continued riding untill 2000. I left cycling for a bit and now have returned. Albeit a tad slower than before and much more catious.
That is serious bad luck, next time "mooooove" out of the way....good for you to continue to ride!!
I got cow cards the whole time I was in the hospital.
Cow Cards,that is funny.....or maybe not?? What type of riding do you do now? You must have to be extra careful, what happens if you re-injure your back again?
Well, right now its little more than med xc stuff- but thats due to being off cycling for almost 8 years. I am already hitting my favorite ride (combo fire roads and light single track) a lot harder.
If I re-injure my back? Might be done for good. However, my back is pretty tough, when I left cycling I played golf and tournament paintball. So the back can with stand punishment, its my knees that couldn't, my right shoulder needs more therapy as I feel it want to pull out at the end of a golf swing and my right elbow has strained tendon/ligaments from a bad landing in paintball.
Cycling is honestly the only thing that kept my knees healthy... my elbow gives me a little pause because of the tendon but I only want to have one surgery in my life, and that was to save my life and I am done now.
Wow, your injuries were quite a bit more series than mine. Glad you've recovered.
I had an accident while hike-a biking on a steep trail near Lake Tahoe The trail narrowed to about 8 inches wide and my cleat caught the slick part of a rock and over I went. The fall was approximately 150' and I just bounced off of rocks all the way until I could catch a small plant to stop my fall. Long story short, I broke 5 ribs, broke the lower corner of my left scapula off, broke my left colar bone and fractured my spine in the C6-C7 neck area. I too broke off the pedicle at that location. The operation was only one hour and I am now a proud owner of a titanium plate on my spine which I can feel when I swallow. I also have left rotator cuff issues that they hope will just heal. And oh yea, I had thje skin torn off of me in just about avery part of my body except mt head. Thank goodness I wore a helmet.
This all happened about a month ago and I am still on the mend. Still feeling the pain every day but getting very anxious to get back out and ride.
If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.
Dude C6-C7 you're lucky you can moving anything below your neck! ALthough the "catch a small plant to stop my fall" part made me laugh a little... thank the heavens for small miracles.
Thanks mojojojoaf. I guess I am lucky. Everything still works. And I even have a magical package of filler in place of the disk that bulged out and injured a nerve. It's supposed to trick the body into quickly creating bone to fuse that portion of my neck. I do count my blessings at the same time as I curse my clumsiness. It really could have been worse. And maybe someday that nerve will even heal and stop sending me pain signals all the time.
If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.
You know for me there were three moments of really bad pain:
1) The accident
2) Waking up after surgery feeling like someone took a sledge hammer to my back
3) When I finally got around to moving my shoulder after being immobile for 4 weeks.
And then there was the time I passed out 3 weeks after surgery from pain.. trying to walk to the bathroom.