Shattered Humerus- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Shattered Humerus

    I did a good job this time. The doctors were able to save my right arm. I have lots of hardware and a long road to recovery ahead. I'll be asking lots of questions along the way in this thread. I had the accident on 6/13. I'm following up with the doctor on 6/26 so I can return to work. I'll also be asking the more important questions like, when can I at least ride the trainer again? and when can I get back on the bike for riding and racing?

    My WORS and WEMS seasons are a lost cause and I'm out for the Wausau 24, but maybe I can return for the Cheq fat tire fest on 9/15?

    Otherwise I might have to wait for fatbike season to be able to "race".

  2. #2
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    photobucket sucks...I'll try something else.

  3. #3
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    Remember to always wear a helmet

    0613182311 by big one for you, on Flickr


    and good bibs and jersey

    0613182336 by big one for you, on Flickr

  4. #4
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    ok now to the good pics. broken bones...yes they did poke holes in me. some chunks were visible.

    0616181355a_HDR by big one for you, on Flickr
    0616181355a by big one for you, on Flickr
    0616181355_HDR by big one for you, on Flickr
    0616181355 by big one for you, on Flickr

  5. #5
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    After the first surgery to clean me up, repair the severed blood vessels and close me up. They did not set anything yet because of the severity of the injury.

    0613182311a by big one for you, on Flickr

  6. #6
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    According to the doctor who put me back together, on a scale of 1 to 10, this was a 15. Surgery took about 6 hours.

    0613182311a by big one for you, on Flickr
    0616181827b by big one for you, on Flickr
    0616181827a by big one for you, on Flickr
    0616181827 by big one for you, on Flickr
    0616181827c(1) by big one for you, on Flickr

  7. #7
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    I developed a lot of swelling in my hand and fingers once I got home.
    0619182327 by big one for you, on Flickr

    and was getting water blisters on my hand and shoulder, so I went in just in case.

  8. #8
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    glad I did. they put compression sleeves on my fingers, hand and arm. kind of like a burn victim would have. The swelling i way down. they also took the splint off and now I have a nice, removable metal brace to immobilize everything. much more comfortable.

    I will have a wicked cool scar afterwards too.
    0621181409b by big one for you, on Flickr

  9. #9
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    More to come soon. I need to get back to work and get started on PT.

  10. #10
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    ... holy crap, dude...

    I wish you the best on your road to recovery!! Take care, man!
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  11. #11
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    Wowser, that's gonna leave a mark!!! You really did yourself in on that ride!

    What's the story? Lead us up to it and how the crash went. Alone, with someone, long hike out, bike park already near the parking lot, etc?

    And yes, hope recovery goes better than you expect.

  12. #12
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    Ouch.

    My wife broke her humerous on June 2nd. Clean break, everything in allignment, relatively small gap. No surgery for her recovery.

    Took two weeks for it feel stable enough for to go hiking. Healing is progressing well, she expects to be riding outside on the road in another 2 1/2 weeks and then starting to do easy MTBing in another 6 weeks. Hoping to return to competition at 8 weeks.

    Right now she is riding the trainer for a couple hrs a day with a harness that suspends her from the ceiling.
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  13. #13
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    thankfully it was a group ride. The owner of the LBS hung back with me because I was not feeling all that well. Qdoba for lunch, high temps, and high humidity were not my friends and I tossed my cookies less then 10 minutes before my incident.

    I was riding behind George and he warned me about the upcoming section. We had a guy break his neck there a coupe weeks before I crashed. It is a set of jumps that if you are good you can double easily. I'm an old, fat, wheels of the ground kind of rider. I was on my Pivot Mach 429SL. Just a couple of weeks before the crash I was practicing on some mild tabletops and was landing way too much nose first so I added a click of rebound damping and it helped. Well I guess I needed more. All was well over the first jump. I just rolled/squashed it with no air at all and pumped the backside. I was already going pretty fast because of the previous downhill section. Well as soon as my front tire left the lip of the second jump, I was flying through the air like superman.

    After the crash my arm was pointed in the wrong direction and George was visible shaken when he came back to me. I thought it was dislocated so I asked him to give it a tug. That's when he could see the bones poking out and I felt the crunching. I laid on the side of the trail for a bit and then we walked out. I set my dangling arm on my handlebars and only had maybe 1/2 mile to a very nice sub-division. I bled all over some million dollar lawn.

    George rode on the rode back to get the shop van and I called 911. It didn't take long for the ambulance to get me and thankfully George grabbed my bike and took it back to his shop. I didn't want to leave my bike with some stranger.


    I've been doing my PT and can't wait to get back on the bike. I went to a race this weekend to spectate...it made me want to cry.

  14. #14
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    Glad you had someone with you to help get you out. Some of the crashes and bodily destructions we end up doing to ourselves would be that mush more terrible without friends to help us.

    Heal well.

  15. #15
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    Mojo sent man...makes my January separated shoulder look like child's play. At 58 I still ride hard but I'm finding no shame in the occasional 'go around' for stuff I can and have ridden over for years. Nobody plans to crash but I'm not interested in the potential consequences anymore. My objective is to enjoy a good ride and be ready and able for the next good ride.

    Hope your recovery goes well...that was ugly.
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  16. #16
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    I'm 54 with a ruined summer and taking a real serious reflection on this too sturge. It's fun but not this fun.

  17. #17
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    no more jumps! youre gonna heal up like Ken Roczen but then just ride fast and flow!
    (telling myself the same!)
    God bless!

  18. #18
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    I went to see the doctor a few days ago. They took new x-rays. I finally got to see the high-res pics on the computer screen. Holy Shit! I really messed my arm up. I doubt I'll be back on thee bike before fatbike season. There are 1/4" gaps in some places because there weren't enough pieces left to put me back together.

    based on my vague memories and seeing good x-rays, I must have landed just perfectly with my ulna flat on the ground to not have broken it during the crash. The impact basically used my ulna to cut my elbow in half and then continue a few inches up my humerus.

    I'll be sporting good elbow pads when I ride again.

  19. #19
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    That is not funny!

  20. #20
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    Totally crazy how what we do daily can get so wicked so quick. Good luck with the recovery man hope it isn't too difficult!

  21. #21
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    I saw the doctor again. My left ring finger was indeed fractured, they just didn't see it on the x-rays taken in the ER. I got a cortisone shot, damn that hurts in the knuckle. Arm is still healing, huge gaps still need to be gapped. I'll be in the brace for a while. I finally got to 90 degrees of bend and can shower by myself. It will be at least a year before I'm done with therapy and whatever amount of arm bend I end up with will be good enough.

  22. #22
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    I've been doing therapy. They are really pushing me now. It hurts like hell. Also, I think I'm going to have a HUGE problem long term which might mean my riding days are over. The doctor checked my MCL and said it is intact, but my lower arm has zero lateral stability, just a light push will move it. I can feel it moving in the joint with very little resistance.

  23. #23
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    I saw the doctor again yesterday. Bones are healing, but I still have huge gaps. No riding anything for another month at least. PT is going well. I'm up to 125 degrees of bend in the arm and will start using a progressive brace next week to try to get the last 20 or so degrees of bend. At some point I'll be able to work on strength and hopefully the instability in the elbow will get better.

  24. #24
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    hang in there....can u pedal a stationary bike? while watching Redbull TV XC race in La Bresse on the laptop?

  25. #25
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    well its not going well. The titanium hardware failed. I was having tons of pain and swelling. After getting a CT I had an emergence surgery last week Wednesday to redo everything. The surgery was almost 8 hours again. All the titanium came out and new stainless steel stuff went in. They shortened the humerus and did a bone graft from my hip to fill in the still huge holes. So I'm back to square one. feeling has not returned to my right hand yet, which scares me. the doctor said the ulnar nerve was scarred in and they did everything they could to protect it during surgery. I have significant pain, stiffness and swelling in my left quad and left pec from laying on my side for 7 hours on the metal table. The doctor did order me an ultrasonic bone stimulator. I hope insurance will cover it.

    So next week I get the stiches out again and we start over with PT and recovery.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    well its not going well. ... So next week I get the stiches out again and we start over with PT and recovery.

    Jeez, best wishes.

  27. #27
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    Wow, scary injury. Best wishes on the second surgery and hope its a success.

  28. #28
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    I'll try to get the latest x-rays uploaded soon. It doesn't look like any healing has happened over the last 4 months. my arm looks like a bunch of gravel held together with screws. I still have HUGE gaps everywhere. Insurance would not cover the bone stimulator, but the company was good enough to loan me one indefinitely. I might need it for 6 months or more.

    Lots happened since the surgery. I ended up at the doctors office a number of times for bleeding from the incision. They became concerned so I got transferred to the ER. They found a superficial blood clot and I was dangerously close to needing a blood transfusion. The bleeding has stopped and my blood counts have improved. My regular doctor does not seem concerned about the blood clot. My hand was swelling significantly, like almost comically. It looked like a blown up surgical glove. That finally went away a couple days ago. Now I'm just dealing with my pinky finger being completely numb. I can move it, but can't feel it at all.

    I follow up with the PA in 2 weeks to see if I can start with PT all over again.

  29. #29
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    That's pretty rough! Adding you to the prayer list whether you want it or not.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    Lots happened since the surgery...
    Best wishes.

    It's amazing how the gravel can grow back together! I had something similar with my femur in 1998.

    Your x-rays remind me I need to get the plate off my humerus from last summer.

    Stay strong!
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    [WTB] 1987 Cannondale SM800, 20", Pink with airbrushed graphics.

  31. #31
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    I can “slightly” feel your pain…….I fractured my tibial plateau 11/11/17, no surgery required and was off my bike for 10 weeks. Hoping you have a full recovery!! and back on your bike soon....

  32. #32
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    Wow! I took a fall September 15th on a demo bike and broke my humerus 2 miles into the ride. After reading your story it almost brings tears to my eyes. Tears of sorrow for you. Tears of joy my injury was a simple break.

    My biggest problem now is I probably waited to long to move the shoulder. My range of motion isn't quite where it needs to be. Looking back I wish the physical therapist would have given me goals to reach each week.

    Best of luck to you. And know that there are a lot of us thinking of you wishing you a successful and speedy recovery.

  33. #33
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    No real progress to report. x-rays look pretty much the same as they did 5 months ago. The new hardware is holding. I started very light PT to work on ROM. It will probably be a year before the bone is healed enough to use and might be even longer before I can attempt to ride again. I might get a recumbent fat trike if it is really going to be that long before I can bear weight on the arm and try to use it regularly.

  34. #34
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    Good to hear the hardware is holding this time.

    Do your best to stay positive... sounds like a long road.

    On the flipside, these are pretty cool:
    Utah Trikes - UTCustom Catrike Fat Cat-4 Quad
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  35. #35
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    7 month update. Bones are not even close to being fused yet. I do under the knife again next week to have my ulnar nerve relocated. After the second rebuild the feeling in my right hand never really came back. My two small fingers don't move much and have almost no feeling. I've lost significant muscle mass and strength in the hand and they need to do something about it soon. PT has been extremely limited because they don't want the hardware to fail again, so I doubt I'll be able to use my right arm to eat or anything that requires it to bend past 90 degrees.

    I haven't given up hope yet. I will be back on a bike again someday, maybe not a mountain bike and most likely not racing. I'm getting fat again. some of my 38" waist pants don't fit.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    7 month update. Bones are not even close to being fused yet. I do under the knife again next week to have my ulnar nerve relocated. After the second rebuild the feeling in my right hand never really came back. My two small fingers don't move much and have almost no feeling. I've lost significant muscle mass and strength in the hand and they need to do something about it soon. PT has been extremely limited because they don't want the hardware to fail again, so I doubt I'll be able to use my right arm to eat or anything that requires it to bend past 90 degrees.

    I haven't given up hope yet. I will be back on a bike again someday, maybe not a mountain bike and most likely not racing. I'm getting fat again. some of my 38" waist pants don't fit.
    Geez, sorry to learn of your ordeal, but, like you said, don't give up hope now. Take care and heal up.

    Best wishes,
    Terry

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    ...maybe not a mountain bike and most likely not racing.
    Crazy talk. Dudes without an arm ride.

    But your right, you will be back.

    Good luck with the nerve surgery
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  38. #38
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    I broke my humerus on 5/24/18. Was a miserable summer from that point on. Felt like I missed out on all the fun stuff. My comeback ride was the Cheq 40. Was a shit day for me. Slow, out of shape, afraid to crash, and endless mud bogs.

    Having read your story, I feel guilty for not enjoying the race to the fullest.

    Keep up with your appointments, and have faith you’ll be back on the bike at some point. It’ll happen.

  39. #39
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    I've lost most of the use of my right hand after the surgery. The numbness is gone and has been replaced with absolutely no feeling at all. The worst is the burning, shooting pains in my fingers and hands where I have no feeling at all, now it is just pain.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReXTless View Post
    I broke my humerus on 5/24/18. Was a miserable summer from that point on. Felt like I missed out on all the fun stuff. My comeback ride was the Cheq 40. Was a shit day for me. Slow, out of shape, afraid to crash, and endless mud bogs.

    Having read your story, I feel guilty for not enjoying the race to the fullest.

    Keep up with your appointments, and have faith you’ll be back on the bike at some point. It’ll happen.

    I was signed up for that race. I was hoping for it to be my comeback race too. I was a bit too optimistic.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    I've lost most of the use of my right hand after the surgery. The numbness is gone and has been replaced with absolutely no feeling at all. The worst is the burning, shooting pains in my fingers and hands where I have no feeling at all, now it is just pain.
    Shit. What's the prognosis?
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Westy View Post
    Shit. What's the prognosis?
    No prognosis at this time. Wait and see if my hand starts to work again. I start light PT again this week.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    I've lost most of the use of my right hand after the surgery. The numbness is gone and has been replaced with absolutely no feeling at all. The worst is the burning, shooting pains in my fingers and hands where I have no feeling at all, now it is just pain.
    This sucks so bad. A nerve must be messed up. I hope you get well.

  44. #44
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    I got more bad news yesterday. The hardware is failing again and the bone is not healing. I have some screws that are backing out and others are broken. Next step is Mayo or Froedtert.

  45. #45
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    I'm headed to Froedtert in Milwaukee on 4/1.

  46. #46
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    Damn, what a terrible ordeal. Hope Froedtert can fix that arm.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    Next step is Mayo or Froedtert.
    Quote Originally Posted by elder_mtber View Post
    Damn, what a terrible ordeal. Hope Froedtert can fix that arm.
    No doubt.

    Good luck slowride
    --------------

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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Westy View Post
    No doubt.

    Good luck slowride
    I wish you nothing but the best of luck man.

    I had a pretty bad spill in March of 17'. Literally snapped the ball off my humerous and managed to break the ball in 5 spots. Tried to walk it off thinking I dislocated my shoulder. That didn't go so well. I can normally take pain but this time I passed out from it. These injuries are no joke.
    I was lucky enough the bone did heal over time but I can't lift my arm above my shoulder and I have the osteoarthritis of a 70 year old (I was 39 when this happened ).
    With all this being said I feel lucky I got it to heal as well as it did. I also feel lucky in that it could been my head.

    Once you get a feel for what's going on, pm me if your doctor recommends that stimulator again.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by 94M400 View Post
    I wish you nothing but the best of luck man.

    I had a pretty bad spill in March of 17'. Literally snapped the ball off my humerous and managed to break the ball in 5 spots. Tried to walk it off thinking I dislocated my shoulder. That didn't go so well. I can normally take pain but this time I passed out from it. These injuries are no joke.
    I was lucky enough the bone did heal over time but I can't lift my arm above my shoulder and I have the osteoarthritis of a 70 year old (I was 39 when this happened ).
    With all this being said I feel lucky I got it to heal as well as it did. I also feel lucky in that it could been my head.

    Once you get a feel for what's going on, pm me if your doctor recommends that stimulator again.
    Thanks for the encouragement. I'll keep everyone posted. We just got back from a 10 day 4000+ mile trip to the Grand Canyon and many stops along the way. It sucked not being able to do much. My arm is completely unstable now, even with the brace. I can feel it moving around, clicking, and it hurts like hell. I see the new doctor tomorrow.

  50. #50
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    Surgery is scheduled for next week Friday 4/12.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    ...I can feel it moving around, clicking, and it hurts like hell. I see the new doctor tomorrow.
    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    Surgery is scheduled for next week Friday 4/12.
    That hurts just reading it - yikes.

    What did the new doctor do? How'd it go?
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  52. #52
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    Surgery went well. The new doctor never put me in a brace. He said if the plates and screws are installed correctly there is no need. They did find a staph infection which I'm taking pills for. Today is the first day in over 10 months I have nothing on my arm, no brace, no glove, no wraps. I feel kind of naked. I follow up with the new doctor on 6/3.

    My right hand is still pretty useless. I'll have a long road to recovery.

    I'm super disappointed it took 10 months before I saw this new doctor. I trusted that other dipshit because of his educational background and reviews. I guess even Mayo Clinic has D students. If I had gone to Froedtert first I might still have use of my hand since I had no nerve damage after my first surgery.

  53. #53
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    Successful surgery is a huge milestone and getting rid of that infection is next. Try not to let woulda-shoulda-coulda's dog you, onward and upward!!! FWIW, my first surgeon was a highly recommended chap who turned out to be a sucky doctor.

  54. #54
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    Well it is one year ago today I broke my arm. I'm extremely thankful for my family supporting me through this ordeal.

    I'm doing light PT now and hopefully will be able to push harder on range of motion soon. The bones appear to be healing and the graft is still visible in the x-rays which is good according to the doctor. I still can't bear any weight on my arm. My hand is not making much progress. I hope I get feeling back in my 2 small fingers. The whole hand is not very useful and it shakes like crazy when I concentrate on doing anything. Surprisingly I can type OK with 3 of the fingers. Using a mouse is difficult though.

    I see the doctor again on 7/22. Hopefully by then the bones have healed and I can work on strength and maybe get back on a bike.

    I only sold one bike so far. I got rid of my rigid singlespeed. I'm not sure I'll be able to ride rigid in the summer anymore, plus I got more money than I paid for it.

  55. #55
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    This is the first I've seen this thread. My parents were both treated at Mayo (uh, before they died...Actually, it's a great place. But nothing is perfect).

    Rather inspiring to see your journey through this. It looks like you are not yet riding? Would you consider a totally different type of bike just to get on two wheels?
    2018 Surly Karate Monkey 'dingle' speed
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  56. #56
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    yes no riding yet. I have the road bike on the trainer in the basement, but I can't spin long because I can't bear any weight on the arm yet and I can't shift the right side because my hand doesn't work correctly. I looked at getting a recumbent, but the shifting/braking is still difficult and I have a very hard time steering. My fit on the road bike will need a ton of work after this since my right arm is shorter and crooked. I raced MTB or fatbikes about 30 weekends a year and got about 2500-3000 road miles a year before this happened. I'm going crazy. I just want to commute to work or go around the block with my 8 year old son. He is suffering big time. He wants to race mtb juniors, but he rarely gets to ride and hasn't been on dirt since I got hurt.

  57. #57
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    An Electra Townie has 'forward crank' technology. So you basically sit up, and can put your feet on the ground while being in the correct position. Single speed is available, or just don't shift. It could work. Depends how much your balance in your upper body is off.

    The 'path' version has the best, most offset handlebars. Which I'd think would be easier to control. And if you lose balance you can put your feet down no problem. They have step over and step through models. The step throughs might be smaller. Not sure.


    https://www.electrabike.com/bikes/townie
    2018 Surly Karate Monkey 'dingle' speed
    2013 CAADX 105
    2012 Pinarello Quattro
    2002 Zurich LeMond

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    Well it is one year ago today I broke my arm. I'm extremely thankful for my family supporting me through this ordeal.

    I'm doing light PT now and hopefully will be able to push harder on range of motion soon. The bones appear to be healing and the graft is still visible in the x-rays which is good according to the doctor. I still can't bear any weight on my arm. My hand is not making much progress. I hope I get feeling back in my 2 small fingers. The whole hand is not very useful and it shakes like crazy when I concentrate on doing anything. Surprisingly I can type OK with 3 of the fingers. Using a mouse is difficult though.

    I see the doctor again on 7/22. Hopefully by then the bones have healed and I can work on strength and maybe get back on a bike.

    I only sold one bike so far. I got rid of my rigid singlespeed. I'm not sure I'll be able to ride rigid in the summer anymore, plus I got more money than I paid for it.
    Wow, hoping like hell that this surgery holds and you can finally begin your recovery.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    yes no riding yet. I have the road bike on the trainer in the basement, but I can't spin long because I can't bear any weight on the arm yet and I can't shift the right side because my hand doesn't work correctly. I looked at getting a recumbent, but the shifting/braking is still difficult and I have a very hard time steering. My fit on the road bike will need a ton of work after this since my right arm is shorter and crooked. I raced MTB or fatbikes about 30 weekends a year and got about 2500-3000 road miles a year before this happened. I'm going crazy. I just want to commute to work or go around the block with my 8 year old son. He is suffering big time. He wants to race mtb juniors, but he rarely gets to ride and hasn't been on dirt since I got hurt.
    I just found this thread and have been catching up. First, I wish you a speedy recovery and hope this round is a winner for you. Sounds like you're seeing progress though, and that's awesome!

    As far as the road bike and shifting, there's some options out there if you end up needing a long term fix. When I was working in my local bike shop we had a female rider with a completely non-functional arm. She was in a car accident a few years before involving a drunk driver and lost use of it. We set up her bike with a Shimano brake/shift lever on her good side, and a bar end shifter meant for aero bars on the same side for the other derailleur. Front and rear shifts could then be done with the same hand with a quick position shift.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

  60. #60
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    It is expensive, but electric shifting has helped a lot of people with screwed up hands/fingers. You don't have to use the MTB electric triggers, you could adapt a Shimano road Di2 climbing switch if it worked better for you. Or, a Di2 bar end shifter.

    https://www.competitivecyclist.com/s...imbing-shifter
    https://www.bikebling.com/Shimano-Di...7-iswr9160.htm

  61. #61
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    thanks everyone for the suggestions and well wishes. I'll keep this thread updated as I make progress.

  62. #62
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    Happy to read things are going in the right direction Slowride. Stay strong. Celebrate the wins.
    --------------

    [WTB] 1987 Cannondale SM800, 20", Pink with airbrushed graphics.

  63. #63
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    I start PT again today. I hope I'm not too sore after for our camping trip this week.

  64. #64
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    I saw PT yesterday. after one session they decided I'm beyond their expertise. I see a different PT tomorrow afternoon.

  65. #65
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    Wow. Good luck and stay optimistic.
    2018 Surly Karate Monkey 'dingle' speed
    2013 CAADX 105
    2012 Pinarello Quattro
    2002 Zurich LeMond

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    I saw PT yesterday. after one session they decided I'm beyond their expertise. I see a different PT tomorrow afternoon.
    Doggone glad their ego's didn't stand in the way of getting the proper help for you! As above, stay positive!

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