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Thread: Pneumothorax

  1. #1
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    Pneumothorax

    Yes, just 2 and a half weeks ago I crashed into the base of a small 5" dia tree on a short downhill section with a log jump. As I was crashing my thoughts were I can't believe I'm crashing then I hit the tree. I don't know how fast I was going but I went from whatever that speed was to zero in about 3" of compression in the side of my chest. I suffered 2 broken ribs and a pneumothorax (collapsed lung) and a very bruised side. In the hospital they inserted a chest tube to allow the lung to expand. Recovery so far was 12 days in the hospital. I'm not sure how long before I can get on the bike; I'm letting the pain from my ribs be my guide.

    Oh, and thanks to the guys (Bill and Sandy I think that was their names) that help me out and got me to my car.

    j
    '14 Specialized Enduro Carbon Expert 29
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  2. #2
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    Did you drive yourself to the hospital?

    I hit a tree last winter skiing and did the same thing, and then some. Broke 5 ribs ad their corresponding transverse processes (the part of the vertebrae that ribs attach to) and separated my shoulder. The ER doc put my chest tube in with out any pain meds or anesthesia because I was close to blacking out from all the blood and air in my chest putting pressure on my other lung and heart. By far the most painful thing I have ever felt.

    Good luck with the recovery. I spent 6 days in the hospital, then a month with limited activity before starting physio.
    Disclaimer: I no longer fix bikes for a living.
    National Ski Patroller to feed my winter habit.

  3. #3
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    Chest tubes are no fun

    Well first after I hit the tree, since I had broken ribs before I knew I had at least broken ribs. I walked out from the trail where I had crashed and the other guys there brought my bike out. From that point to my car it was less painful to just ride my bike slowly (Full suspension helped)then to walk. I rode my bike to the car perhaps a mile. I got to the car, they loaded my bike. I sat in the driverís seat and felt good enough to drive home. Perhaps not the smartest thing but I did drive half an hour home. From home my wife drove me to an outpatient clinic w/ X-ray. After they diagnosed me they called the hospital to get me in right away.


    As for the chest tube I had a local on the skin (like what the dentist would use for drilling a cavity) and 10mg morphine but it still hurt!!!!! They gave me an option of a higher level of sudation but I didn't take it (if there is a next time Iíll take). But for some reason they donít prefer to do it that way. Just a local and shove it in. In your case they didnít want you out cold so that they could track your vitals and know if you slipped deeper into trouble.
    '14 Specialized Enduro Carbon Expert 29
    '13 Surly Neck Romancer Pug
    1992 Cannondale DeltaV700
    And a couple of fixies

  4. #4
    Momma I'm goin fast!!!
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    Cool-blue Rhythm I feel your pain guys...

    I had a bad wreck in 2001, cooking downhill lost control on a drop, over the handlebars upside down and backwards into a tree right across my back. 40% Pneumothorax on the left side, 5 broken ribs in back, 3 in front, L3,4,5 vertebra and transverse processes broken, ton of town muscles across my lower back. Lost use of my left leg for months, couldnt move because movement pulled my back apart again. Took me 6 months to graduate from a wheelchair, to a walker, to crutches.
    Once I could walk again, went freediving for lobster, my lung collapsed again, so they said I could never go underwater again, not even in a bathtub. I wasnt having that so I found a Doc to give me a VATS Pleuradhesis procedure (he recollapsed my lung, burned the outside of it with an acid abrasive, then re-expanded it with two chest tubes running 16 inches each in my chest) so my left lung is scarred solid to my ribs all around. No more pneumothorax for this guy!!!
    Only problem is my lung also scarred to my heart and stretching from a nap 2 months later it ripped from my heart, tearing the epicardial sack and giving me a heart attack at 19 years old. Sweet. But now the ticker is better, the lung is better, the back is mostly better, and I am riding a ton! Can NOT complain!

  5. #5
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    Now thats a nasty lung injury.




    As for the chest tube, I was conscious but getting pretty close to blacking out, the doc said had he taken the time to shoot me up, my heart would have stopped.
    Disclaimer: I no longer fix bikes for a living.
    National Ski Patroller to feed my winter habit.

  6. #6
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    I had a 100% pneumothorax (right side) when I was 20. Spent 14 days in hospital and was weak for another month. A collapsed lung is a very serious injury so don't be in too much of a hurry to go hard again. I remember the emergency room parting like the red sea when I came in after having an x-ray elsewhere, I had all the nursing staff descend upon me at once and it was off to intensive care. It was quite strange because I didn't feel like I might die at the time.
    I had the tube inserted below my armpit and it hurt like hell, it was a relief when it finally popped through the chest wall. After 7 or 8 days the lung still hadn't properly inflated and they noticed that the tube wasn't in at the right angle so it couldn't reinflate to 100%. The house surgeon then came and (no pain) inserted a new tube a few inches below my collarbone which saw my lung inflating almost immediately.
    There is nothing more depressing than being in a ward surrounded by middle aged men suffering to varying degrees from heart failure and knowing that some of them were not going to live. Hearing their stories put me off smoking and fatty foods for life. There was another guy with a collapsed lung in there too, he had to have his lung attached back to the chest wall using a camphor resin or something, sounded disgusting and painful. I saw him a few months later, smoking again.
    Anyway, I always feel a surge of empathy when I hear the word PNEUMOTHORAX, I wish you the best of luck and a speedy recovery.

  7. #7
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    Here's my chest tube scar and AC seperation. I was fully sedated when they started sticking the tube in, but I woke up as they were jamming it in. It hurt incredibly bad.
    I live in Maine and I hate lobster.

  8. #8
    Double-metric mtb man
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    As someone who does the volunteer first aider thing, that is not a good injury and I'm glad you're alright. Anytime you get air outside the lungs and inside the chest it can be a very bad thing.

    Glad to hear you got the treatment you needed and are on the mend. I'd definately give yourself a good bit of time before hitting the bike again (and even longer before you crash again ).

    Here's sending you some healing vibes, man.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

  9. #9
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    3 weeks and a day since my accident

    I did manage to go for a ride in the neighborhood with my wife, slow and easy and certainly not technical!!

    I do have a 6 weeks restriction on airplane travel due to the air pressure changes. Have others had this? I figure the 6 weeks is a good benchmark for when I can go back out and do some real riding.
    '14 Specialized Enduro Carbon Expert 29
    '13 Surly Neck Romancer Pug
    1992 Cannondale DeltaV700
    And a couple of fixies

  10. #10
    Double-metric mtb man
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    I'd lean towards 8. Sitting in an airplane is a lot less taxing on your ribs and lungs than "real" riding
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

  11. #11
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    Up date

    Well its 5 weeks to the day since my crash. Today I did some riding on the trails where I had my crash. I took it easy and had a great ride with some friends. Its good to be back!
    '14 Specialized Enduro Carbon Expert 29
    '13 Surly Neck Romancer Pug
    1992 Cannondale DeltaV700
    And a couple of fixies

  12. #12
    Glad to Be Alive
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    yikes...heal up bro.....we had a guy come up short on a big double that did the same....2 broken ribs too
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

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