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  1. #1
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    Tibial plateau and knee mess

    So,

    first visit to this here board...

    Racing DH this weekend, took a bad digger coming out too wide from a turn, into some nasty rocks, caught the front wheel a bit sideways, locked it up, went sort of OTB with the leg still wedged between the pedal and the frame somehow (damn those 5.10s are grippy SOBs!). I could feel the knee doing something it was defo not designed to do...I hobbled off the course (after checking the bike was OK... ), but from there on it got progressively worse. Swelling, pain....off to ER. X-rays and then CT revealed fractured tibial plateau, it would appear of the non-displacing kind (or with very minimal movement at least). The group that reviewed my case recommend no surgery. That means 10 days in a splint cast for now (the joint is too swollen to allow the real deal to be put on just yet), no load bearing at all, then a review of the situation to evaluate if everything is still in place, at which point the full cast will be put on for another 4-6 weeks. Following that, PT for the knee.....that is another story. Right now they are saying there is no or minimal damage to ACLs and meniscus etc...just an elongation of one of the outer ligaments...but time will tell what the real deal is there and how long recovery will take.

    Being off the bike for any prolonged period really sucks (I know from a previous sprained wrist followed by broken pinky), but to make matters worse, I was scheduled to fly to the Alps for a week of DH in Les Gets/Morzine on Thursday! So yeah, great timing...

    I have no images of the damage yet (all electronic), so in the meantime, here is the last riding picture taken....

    WANTED: somewhat stupid and retarded individual, last seen heading down the DH race track on Saturday, wearing something green looking, with a flight ticket sticking out his back pocket. It is believed this person disappeared from the race course some 30 seconds after this picture was taken. No reward offered - you may shoot this person on sight and give old Darwin a bit of a helping hand...

    Last edited by Iceman2058; 07-28-2009 at 12:47 PM.

  2. #2
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    Man I feel for ya. I broke my Tibial Plateau a couple years back in a non-biking related accident. I had to have surgery two days later. Good luck and get better soon.

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    Sorry to hear about your injury. So was the fracture a result of impacting something with your leg or was it the way you twisted it?
    I'm at just over 8 weeks since my tibial plateau fracture (non-displaced, 2mm dent) and doing OK. I'm doing PT now and it's getting stronger, but some days it seems like i've got a long way to go. I'm hoping I'll be back on the trails late August or September, but not going to push it.
    Good luck with everything.

    Steve

  4. #4
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    Steevo, it was the way I twisted it. Leg kinda got jammed, one foot still on the pedal, the other one against the handlebar, me going over it sideways, I think...all of it angled the wrong way - the rest is history.

    Did you have any ligament or other damage to your knee as well?

  5. #5
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    Really sucks, did mine 2 weeks after my brother in England did his...
    Mine came with destroyed cartilage and a torn meniscus.

    Hope you get some good news at the next evaluation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Qatarbhoy
    I have to ask for them to do a "Number two" on my head

  6. #6
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    on july 13 last year i slipped a pedal on a table top jump on the last jump of lower dominion at diablo, i foot planted the fairly flat landing and road off in serious pain,day over pain. It was a tibial plataeu fracture with a few mm of displacement,non surgical (border line) and i spent a month in a full length leg cast,then a brace, still with crutches. My knee doesn't really straighten 100% but i am biking pretty well again, i will work some more on strength this winter. Your break sounds better than mine,you should heal up fine,use an exercise bike as soon as you can,i bought an old schwinn airdyne. If you have any questions try "mybrokenleg.com" if nothing else there are people there who will make you realize that you have a minor injury.

  7. #7
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    Wow, this seems like a really common bike injury. I still have six screws and a plate in my right leg from mine. This will not happen to me again (Positive thinking... HA).

  8. #8
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    Feel for you. Just had surgery on my knee yesterday. 2 months non weight bearing. Needed a microfracture on my femur to help out some damaged cartilage. I have barely been able to ride this year due to pain and swelling. No DH at all- it was all over by the time the lifts opened. On a good note... I am going to geek out and build a new bike while I am down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman2058
    Did you have any ligament or other damage to your knee as well?
    Not that I know of, and I guess I would know by now. Mine was strictly an impact, not twisting, so my ligaments were spared. They never even did MRI to check, saying the bone has to heal first anyway.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by steevo
    Not that I know of, and I guess I would know by now. Mine was strictly an impact, not twisting, so my ligaments were spared. They never even did MRI to check, saying the bone has to heal first anyway.

    Did you see the Ortho guys or just the ER?

  11. #11
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    10-day update: had the plaster splint cast removed today, new x-rays done. The good news is that the fracture is healing well, no need for surgery. I also got a Zimmer splint now (one of those velcro jobs that you can actually take of and remove yourself although you are not supposed to of course), which at least means showering like a human being again. 4 weeks with the Zimmer splint froem today, and then back for final x-rays and hopefully getting rid of the splint altogether. Then it will be time for PT on the knee...

    Speaking of which - I'm already dying to remove the splint from time to time to start doing some very light flexing of the knee joint. I'm too curious to see how much range of movement is restricted, and how the pain is etc.. Doc said absolutely not...but I have a feeling he would say that regardless. Aybody out there with experience of this one? Like maybe sitting on the sofa quietly in front of the TV, just unstrap the splint and let the knee bend a little...? Obviously I'm not talking about putting weight on the joint yet...

  12. #12
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    In your case I would listen to the doc. Seriously would you want to screw things up and go through it all over again. Also on the showering part wear some kind of sandal so you have traction. Just wait til pt trust me the pain will bad then so why push it now.
    1.. 2.. 3... 4...........FIFFFFFFF !!!!!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dose
    Did you see the Ortho guys or just the ER?
    ER did the initial x-ray, showing the break. Orthopedic surgeon did the CT scan, showing depth of displacement.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hellrazor666
    In your case I would listen to the doc. Seriously would you want to screw things up and go through it all over again. Also on the showering part wear some kind of sandal so you have traction. Just wait til pt trust me the pain will bad then so why push it now.
    Ah the voice of reason. The answer one doesn't want to hear....but of course, I know you are right.I wasn't talking about proper pt though, just a bit of flexing....but I know, I need to sit tight and wait for the bon to heal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman2058
    Ah the voice of reason. The answer one doesn't want to hear....but of course, I know you are right.I wasn't talking about proper pt though, just a bit of flexing....but I know, I need to sit tight and wait for the bon to heal.
    I knew what you were talking about but just let it heal. I have been down that road. Try 6 months non weight bearing with huge metal brace on. Try taking a sponge bath for 6 months and then get back to me I just had my 3rd knee surgery and I'm going through the frustrations you are. Tired of being in pain and want the rehab to go faster , but I know to take it slow. I was at 120 degrees of range of motion just under 2 months. So just wait your time will come and time will fly by and before you know it will be off. Let it heal and then worry about pt . In the mean kick back watch some movies , play some video games. Just watch your food intake cause it will catch up on you and it sucks trying to shed lbs when you got a messed up knee.....good luck
    1.. 2.. 3... 4...........FIFFFFFFF !!!!!!!!!!

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    chances are pretty good you wouldn't damage anything,and doctors always er on safe side,BUT, you've got a long time to rehab, rushing in won't get you ahead of the game.It's not like starting long rides in febuary and getting a jump on everybody. Stretching you do ahead of time will be something you wouldv'e accomplished in a fraction of the time a week or a month later when the swelling or inflamation go down and things are healed better. Actually it is alot like long rides in febuary,where you get puemonia and then take until may or june to fully recover. chill.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hellrazor666
    I knew what you were talking about but just let it heal. I have been down that road. Try 6 months non weight bearing with huge metal brace on. Try taking a sponge bath for 6 months and then get back to me I just had my 3rd knee surgery and I'm going through the frustrations you are. Tired of being in pain and want the rehab to go faster , but I know to take it slow. I was at 120 degrees of range of motion just under 2 months. So just wait your time will come and time will fly by and before you know it will be off. Let it heal and then worry about pt . In the mean kick back watch some movies , play some video games. Just watch your food intake cause it will catch up on you and it sucks trying to shed lbs when you got a messed up knee.....good luck
    You can be very convincing. Sponge bath huh....well, there's always the wifey to help with that but even that gets old I guess...

    Quote Originally Posted by herbn
    chances are pretty good you wouldn't damage anything,and doctors always er on safe side,BUT, you've got a long time to rehab, rushing in won't get you ahead of the game.It's not like starting long rides in febuary and getting a jump on everybody. Stretching you do ahead of time will be something you wouldv'e accomplished in a fraction of the time a week or a month later when the swelling or inflamation go down and things are healed better. Actually it is alot like long rides in febuary,where you get puemonia and then take until may or june to fully recover. chill.
    Pneumonia from the February ride...good analogy man.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman2058
    You can be very convincing. Sponge bath huh....well, there's always the wifey to help with that but even that gets old I guess...

    Well trust me after she bumps your knee one time you wont want her doing it
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  19. #19
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    Here is my TB thread...

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...light=fracture

    Doing great now...the only thing I have is a muscle imbalance but that is getting better. I'm not sure it affects me on the bike or not.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wankel7
    Here is my TB thread...

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...light=fracture

    Doing great now...the only thing I have is a muscle imbalance but that is getting better. I'm not sure it affects me on the bike or not.
    Good to see you recovering man. I'm coming up on 3 weeks into it now, the leg feels much better in general. No real pain, just minor discomfort. I'm sure all that will change when I get out of the cast and into PT...

    The only thing I'm concerned with now is finding out the extent of ligament damage (sine my fracture was caused by bending the knee joint outwards...the wrong way...there was some stretching of some of the ligaments). Time will tell.

  21. #21
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    Update, just short of 6 weeks after the crash:

    Went in for X-rays and checkup - all is well.
    The bone fracture has healed, and it would appear that I have escaped with minimal ligament/tendon damage in the knee. I was at 110 degrees flex, and 100% extension, straight out of the splint, and getting better flex by the minute now. I can walk on the leg, although I get pretty bad cramps in the quads and the thighs after a few minutes...
    I'll be on 1 crutch for 10 days now, progressively loading up the leg while walking, and building up muscle strength. Bring on PT...

    I reckon my first bike ride is a mere few days away....I should be able to pedal around the neighborhood as soon as I have comfortable enough ROM and no more muscle cramps. Can't wait...

    I guess I can also look forward to some set-backs....like waking up with a knee the size of a soccer ball or something... ...but there is light at the end of the tunnel now.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman2058
    Update, just short of 6 weeks after the crash:

    Went in for X-rays and checkup - all is well.
    The bone fracture has healed, and it would appear that I have escaped with minimal ligament/tendon damage in the knee. I was at 110 degrees flex, and 100% extension, straight out of the splint, and getting better flex by the minute now. I can walk on the leg, although I get pretty bad cramps in the quads and the thighs after a few minutes...
    I'll be on 1 crutch for 10 days now, progressively loading up the leg while walking, and building up muscle strength. Bring on PT...



    I reckon my first bike ride is a mere few days away....I should be able to pedal around the neighborhood as soon as I have comfortable enough ROM and no more muscle cramps. Can't wait...

    I guess I can also look forward to some set-backs....like waking up with a knee the size of a soccer ball or something... ...but there is light at the end of the tunnel now.
    Come on man drop the 1 crutch I did 2 days after I got the green light to begin weight bearing . As to soccer ball sized knee won't happen you can expect some swelling but ice and Motrin should keep it down. Just keep on top of your pt like a chick on a shopping spree on you will be fine real fast I was. I'm' only 3 1/2 months out I just rode 15 miles last night with lots of hills and I was fine. Just know your limit and don't go passed it until you know you can
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    Yo Icey, sounds like you're coming along well. Good to hear Keep at the PT and you'll be back in no time... Want some inspiration?


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    Congrats on your progress Iceman! Sounds like you're doing well. 100% extension is great...that was the hardest thing for me to get back, though I got back full fexion very quickly.
    When I was told to start partial weight bearing, I was on one crutch for only a couple of days, then I just started walking. Not recommending you do that, but I felt i was barely using the one crutch so it was easy to ditch it.
    I'm at 3 months and 9 days since my break, and it's feeling pretty good. It's definitlely weaker than my good leg, but it's not necessarily limiting me, though it does get a little sore at times. I just back off for a day or two to let it rest. I've been running a bit, and have gradually worked up to 3 miles. On my last run i had a pain in the bad knee that was so intense it nearly knocked me down, but it went away and my leg actually felt more normal after that.
    I rode about 18 miles on this weekend, 12 on road and the rest single track and the leg felt good. It's not where it was, but it's coming along, and getting on the bike again was the important thing!

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    Hellrazor - I'm so there. That crutch will be lucky to make it through tomorrow.

    Bad andy - how weird is it that I JUST ordered that very pressure suit (4 days ago)? Like a get well present to myself. I'm calling it an omen, I don't care what everybody else thinks.

    Steevo - yeah, I don't really need that one crutch right now. However, full flex seems like a world of hurt away...let's hope little by little will do it. And I don't think I EVER ran 3 miles in my whole life, sure as hell won't be trying that any time soon...

    And to all you guys, thanks for the encouragement!

  26. #26
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    If it helps you at ll I have been at the gym 5 days a week for over a month. Just rode 15 miles last night and felt great after. Yeah after what you had done I would avoid running at all forever Running the worst thing in the world for knees The cramps will go away once you start walking on your own. Keep doing all those exercises don't slack on them cause you can walk now. Full range will come real quick now at least it did for me. Good luck & congrats not much more
    1.. 2.. 3... 4...........FIFFFFFFF !!!!!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hellrazor666
    Running the worst thing in the world for knees :
    well, i'd argue that whatever each of us was doing when we broke our tibial plateau aint too good for the knees either!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by steevo
    well, i'd argue that whatever each of us was doing when we broke our tibial plateau aint too good for the knees either!
    Well I did not break anything mine was a bone defect. Yes running is not good for the knees . Riding a bike is one of the best things for it. Low impact stuff is the best thing for the knee
    1.. 2.. 3... 4...........FIFFFFFFF !!!!!!!!!!

  29. #29
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    So, my 6-week anniversary was TODAY. What better way to celebrate than to get back on the bike? Pedalling (with the saddle up, way up... ) was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Getting down stairs walking for example is much more painful. I can now easily incorporate the bike in my PT, even if it is only to pedal it around the neighborhood...and hopefully trail rides are not THAT far away now...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  30. #30
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    Nice pic Iceman!!!! Now that gives me inspiration. Makes me want to pull out my DH bike instead of my road bike when my weight bearing time comes in 2 weeks.

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    2 month anniversary update pics, these are from this morning...:





    This was my second day out on single track (actually started last weekend already with some small stuff). Feels so good to be back on it again! Now, how to pace myself and not hit the big stuff too soon....

    /thread

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    You are psycho I'm going out today well don't think I will be catching air
    1.. 2.. 3... 4...........FIFFFFFFF !!!!!!!!!!

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