Broken pelvis.

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Broken pelvis.

Postby itsjesse » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:27 pm

Hi there,

I was wondering if there is (there must be) other cyclists out there with experience dealing with and healing from a broken pelvis.

I broke my pelvis almost a month ago after being hit by a careess truck driver's trailer whilst riding my bike in the left lane on the left-hand side. I'm not sure what the truck driver was think as he passed me unsafely so he could get to a red light 100 metres away that was already full of cars. I just don't understand the sheer idiocy of some drivers.

Anyway, he left me with a broken pelvis, severe internal bleeding, collapsed bladder and nerve damage to my left leg. So a month later I'm at home and I currently have an x-fix in me, which is somewhat cumbersome.

Anyhow I was wondering if anyone else has gone through this and could help me with what to expect and any helpful advice on how to best recover.

Thanks for taking time to read this.
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by BNA » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:05 pm

BNA
 

Re: Broken pelvis.

Postby winstonw » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:05 pm

that's a nasty injury jesse, and external fixation devices are very difficult to live with.
Best course of action is to contact the surgeon's office, if you don't have a follow up visit soon, and get as much advice as possible about rehab....also ask him for the of a physio that has worked with him. There's probably a lot of pelvic soft tissue, spine, and leg issues a physio may be able to assist with right now.

good luck with it champ.
try and use your time as productively as possible (external study, etc)
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Re: Broken pelvis.

Postby wombatK » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:17 pm

Yep, that's the kind of injury that creeps me out. I have a neighbour who suffered one, also
from coming off second best in a car-bicycle collision.

Not sure what he did to recover, as it was before he moved into the neighbourhood. But if it's
any consolation, you can't tell he's had any injury and he cycles regularly 3 or 4 days a week,
around 20 km each time. And he does tae kwon a couple times a week to.

Do what the docs recommend - no more, no less. Doing too much can be as bad, or worse, than
doing too little. Avoiding over-doing it can be hard for someone used to a high level of exercise activity
but rest is an vital part of recovery.

Good luck with your recovery.
WombatK

Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us -Jerry Garcia
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Re: Broken pelvis.

Postby gabrielle260 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:04 pm

Ditto to what the others have said!
My thought; not all physio's are equal. Recently I lost 1 to 2 months due to a physio who knew less than he professed to!
As with any major purchase/investment, check out the people you are trusting your health to and if in any doubt, shop around.
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Re: Broken pelvis.

Postby Dr_Mutley » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:35 am

Hi Jesse,
Sorry to hear about your avoidable injury. Pelvic fractures are severe injuries, so I wouldn't be rushing anything, which I'm sure u won't be. Getting a good stable fracture repair is imperative to u being able to cycle comfortably in the future. Advice is difficult not knowing the exact fracture u have had, but it's fair to guess that as it's required an ex-fix device then it's likely to be quite an unstable fracture (ie open book #).

Are you home or still in hospital? I sm assuming your pretty much confined to bed rest only. Are u taking warfarin as DVT prophylaxis? Do you still have a catheter in place?

I'm sure yr surgeon and physio would be wanting u to do very little exercise of any muscles that attach to the fractured area of the pelvis. I think the best focus of your rehab ATM would be to maintain as much upper body, and lower leg strength/flexibility as you can, with static or gentle dynamic exercises. Some gentle isometric core contraction work would be ok as long as it doesn't cause pain.

Unfortunately your probably looking at another 4 to 8 weeks of doing not much more than that, depending on the extent of the fracture...

Edit:
Welcome to the forums... Guess u will have a bit of time to read n post ATM...
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Re: Broken pelvis.

Postby itsjesse » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:18 am

Thanks for all the advice and support I appreciate it. I was in one hospital for 10 days with the x-fix and in traction with a 10 lb weight hanging from my left knee to pull my leg and hip back down from where it had been driven up into me. I was then transferred to the PA Hospital in Brisbane where they have some really good dcotors who specialize in these breaks.

I went into surgery to put plates and rods in but before that they tested my pelvis and found they coudnt get any movement (open book) or in my leg. All they could get was a bit of inward morement which meant that my body was already healing and healing fast. They attributed it to me still being young, fit and a non-smoker. So basical they decided to leave te x-fix in for 4 more weeks.

So I'm at home now with the x-fix still in. Its very awkward and annoying but the good this is that when they remove I'll have nothing foreign left in me.

I still have nerve damage iin my left leg which causes me lots of pain and I don't have full control of my foot. This will take some time to deal with and lots of physio.

I don't understand why I need to spend months recovering from serious damage all so some truck driver could get to a red light 2 seconds faster. Why? Why can't drivers share the road like they're supposed to? He may get some little slap on the wrist but he was a 50% chance of being charged with manslaughter. There has to be something inbetween those. He should have been in custody for every day I had to be in hospital.

Anyway, thanks for the posts.
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Re: Broken pelvis.

Postby sogood » Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:16 am

itsjesse wrote:I don't understand why I need to spend months recovering from serious damage all so some truck driver could get to a red light 2 seconds faster. Why? Why can't drivers share the road like they're supposed to? He may get some little slap on the wrist but he was a 50% chance of being charged with manslaughter. There has to be something inbetween those. He should have been in custody for every day I had to be in hospital.

Unfortunately that's how the society works at the moment. The court considered the punishment based on the specific rules broken, doesn't really take into account whether you suffered more because you were a cyclist or less injured because you were in a NCAP 5 star car. It's a bit late, but defensive riding should be one's first priority when on the road. If you want more out of the driver, you'll most likely need to talk to your lawyer.

Coming back to the physical injuries and without seeing your xray, it certainly sounded like a nasty one with multiple associated complications. Due to the size of the pelvic girdle (3 bones with 3 joints), the prognosis can vary widely depending on what and how they were broken. But firstly, you should consider you are one lucky guy! Many people die as a result of major pelvic trauma. So be happy! The bones will invariably heal and strengthen with the usual time frame (6-8 weeks) and that's not your worry. What's relevant now are, mobility and associated neuro deficits. Your joints will be stiff and limited in range of movements, you may be left with a tilt or rotation in your pelvis. These will declare in the short-medium term and can be largely helped through good physio, time and prosthetics (eg. Correction to apparent leg length changes). Neuro deficits may take a much longer time to recover and is often unpredictable. Physio may help if it's a motor problem but not much can be done except to wait on the sensory side. As positive mental attitude is critical on the outcome of a major health event, it would not do you good to constantly look back and ask why. Look forward and focus on the positives. Being alive is certainly a big one!

Good luck in your recovery!
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Re: Broken pelvis.

Postby Sydguy » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:51 pm

We really need a cycling legal team that can assist and advise in cases like these.

By hitting them in the pocket through civil action we might prompt some change in behaviour.

All the best with your recovery. That is a nightmare scenario.

JM
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Re: Broken pelvis.

Postby itsjesse » Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:45 pm

@sogood:
Thanks for our post. I most certainly am happy to be alive. I reached the hospital with a 50/50 chance of making it cause of all the internal bleeding. I needed an infusion of 5 litres of blood and the surgeon said that 10 years ago I wouldn't have made it. It's only with the recent advances in medical tech that helped me make it. I'm very thankful for paramedics the surgeons and the doctors. I have a new appreciation for them. I actually have still not seen the xray but the word 'shattered' is what the doctors always seem to use when referring to my pelvic injury. I seem to get a bit of eyebrow raise and a shake of the head everytime a new doctor looks at my file. So considering this happened a month ago tomorrow I healing at a very fast rate. I'm certainly thankful for that.

I try to keep a positive attitude as much as possible. I just look forward to walking again. The nerve damage in my left leg is an unknown. I'll have to see how it plays out.

Anyway, everyone ride safe please.
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Re: Broken pelvis.

Postby sogood » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:56 pm

From a non medical perspective. I would also suggest that you carefully document your expenditures amongst other income and psychological losses. Keep a diary. This will come in handy when you need to make your claim against the insurer of the truck as well as any private legal action you may care to take up.

Rest well, be patient and strong. I wish you the best in recovery!
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Re: Broken pelvis.

Postby sogood » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:08 pm

Sydguy wrote:We really need a cycling legal team that can assist and advise in cases like these.

I understand BNSW has an advisory service to its members. As for taking up civil actions, I'd think there are plenty of lawyers out there who are experts on civil litigation. If one has limited means, there are plenty of "ambulance chasers" too.

That is a nightmare scenario.

It's not a nightmare when itsjessie is still with us.
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Re: Broken pelvis.

Postby matagi » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:52 am

sogood wrote:
Sydguy wrote:We really need a cycling legal team that can assist and advise in cases like these.

I understand BNSW has an advisory service to its members. As for taking up civil actions, I'd think there are plenty of lawyers out there who are experts on civil litigation. If one has limited means, there are plenty of "ambulance chasers" too.

For Victorian riders - BV (or whatever they are calling themselves these days) also have insurance and a legal service available to members.
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