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mr.radon

Broken Back

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Well I'm sad to post this but here it goes.

Much thanks to RuMR and J_dog who helped out so much the days following my release from the hospital.

I was skiing on Monday the 6th, at Steven's Pass. It was a Birthday outing for my good climbing friend and ski buddy. I had just been up there that Saturday with RuMR who got hurt and I spent most of my time skiing the double blacks on the back side. The last run of the day I tore through the terrain park and hit these three big jumps they had set up. They were okay. Well On Monday on the third run we went through the terrain park. The jumps were big enough no one wanted to try them, I told them I'd hit the last of the three. They changed the jump slightly, plus I hit it with way, way too much speed. I got so much air, I sailed over my friends who were videoing the entire event. I got back a little on my skis. I just knew I was f***ed. Sorry, but no other word describes it good enough.

I landed with such a force that my ski's imediatly departed my boots. One binding was damaged to such an extent I don't know how my leg didn't break.

My body compressed under the force. I collapsed my right lung, damaged my internal organs, causing extensive bleeding. I landed on my ass and back, I was not knocked out.

As I slide to a stop I started to kick my feet, I could move them. At this time I did not know it but I had shattered my T-11 vertebrae. I have a bad Thoratic Spine Fracture. I didn’t cut the cord.

I was sent via ambulance to a great hospital in Monroe, WA. Valley Medical Center. Well on Tuesday they operated on my back. They stabilized that vertebrae, screwed and fused it back together. I have two Ti bars that go on both sides, each are about 12" long and are an internal cast.

I have a bitching scar running down my back. I’ll post them when an if you folks want.

I can WALK!!!!!!!!!!!

I should be 100% in a year.

Anyone ever come back from something like this?

 

Please share......

556165-4.thumb.jpg.ea8c3962e45af6ff865948403a682202.jpg

Edited by mr.radon

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Damn! Well, all I can say is that is great news...100% recovery in a year. Glad to hear you're ok...see the the Climbing forum, Guiness Gulley Accident thread for another person who is currently recovering from a broken back.

 

Best wishes on a complete recovery.

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Hang in there buddy!

 

I broke a cervical vertibrae in high school. It changed my whole life. I was on the jr. olympic swimming team and had planned to pay for college with a scholarship. All that changed when I woke up in traction after an accident. I was told some pretty bad news, and the first voluntary movement I made was to flip off my doctor.

 

You sound positive and like you are recovering fast. Be ready to go through some discouraging times; and fight through them no matter what. Lots of people have gotten through this and you will have a huge support network.

 

Oh, and can I have your ski pass?

Just kidding.

But no joke, PM me if you ever need to bitch about your situation or revel in your successes. And hang in there.

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dude...the difference between this week and last week is totally quantum...i was totally shocked at the improvement...at this rate, you'll be ropegunning for me this summer wink.gif

 

Hang in there bud...you'll heal as good as new thumbs_up.gif

 

(hey, save those magic pills, except for the blue one wink.gif )

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Whew! tongue.gif I thought this was a thread about some lame movie.

 

Sorry to hear about the back. Sounds like you'll be back in the game soon enough though. I would say something like do a lot of praying, only I don't believe in that. So, do a lot of bigdrink.gif and get better soon.

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Well I'm sad to post this but here it goes.

Much thanks to RuMR and J_dog who helped out so much the days following my release from the hospital.

 

I heard RuMR was a big fan of giving sponge baths. hellno3d.gifhahaha.gifyellaf.gifwazzup.gif

 

Seriously good to hear you are mending... nice scar!

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Ow! Dude, don't do that... hellno3d.gif

Oh well, next time you're in a bar, show some girlie your scar and say you got it protecting you last gf from some bear when you were out hiking but she dumped you recently because she couldn't forgive you for getting her into that and now you're feeling blue. evils3d.gif

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Sorry to hear about your accident, Radon, but I'm glad that you are okay. I'm hearing about more and more of these accidents as terrain features get bigger and bigger - there's been at least 3-4 deaths - if not more this year, and probably a quite a few cases of paralysis as well.

 

Your story definitely brought back some memories for me. Back in '98 I overshot the final jump in the Blackcomb terrain park so badly that I had the instant ejection + hardpack crater, plus tearing the bases off of the tips on both skis, blowing out one of the edges. The impact even knocked both of my gloves off, and tore the watch off my wrist. I remember slithering down the slope on my back, lying still for a moment, then wiggling my fingertips and then my toes - meanwhile the kid running the lift shut if down and started running uphill towards me, joined shortly thereafter by the kid running the hotdog stand (late in the day towards the very end of the season, so not many other folks around) - I managed to stand up and wave them off - but I've never forgotten the impact, and how lucky I was to walk away with no permanent damage.

 

Between that experience, and the fact that Ice Coast landings are not much more forgiving than concrete, I've become way more careful. Work up from big to small, watch the folks hitting stuff and the kind of speed they carry before taking the jump, multiple straight airs after that, and follow with another round of straight airs the next time I'm there to double check the speed on the inrun and the landing.

 

Anyway - good luck on your recovery, and buy some lottery tickets!

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Thanks guys. Yeah I'm doing better every day. I've got a long way to go yet though. Today I tried to stay active for more then 5 hours and failed. I just don't have the endurance. I'm like a baby, I got to take my naps.

When I get into PT I'll let everyone know how I progress. I hope to get back to my old shape. WI4, 5.10d lead, 5.11+ top rope, double blacks in the back country.

 

I wish I could wave a wand close my eyes and make the pain go away. But all I can do is grab a few pills, close my eyes, dump'em down the gullet and swallow hard. When the pixes start flying around I know I'm good for a few hours. Repeat.....

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Radon,

 

Glad to hear that you didn't damage the cord and your right because you didn't you should be back to 100%. Lucky and I am happy for you.

 

Make sure to do your rehab as soon as you can, obviously talk to your docs, but the sooner the vertebrae is stabilized and you can start moving the area, the less scar tissue you will have around the area and easier it will be to get back to normal motion in the area. TL junction area is already prone to degeneration, so you should be extra careful to re-stregthen and get the flexibility back before you start pounding on it again (and I am sure you will, which is great!).

 

Hope that is helpful and not too preachy, if I had an injury like that I would want to know. good luck and get well soon,

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Watch your ass with those meds...my gwife was up to 20-30 600mg vics a day before she went cold turkey.

 

Hope your recovery is incident free. Good Luck.

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Thanks, I'm worried about that too. I can tough it out. I'm down to one every 6 - 7 hours. So I'm taking less then 4 a day. If I take to many I gett all loopy and I hate that feeling. I distract myself the last two hours before the next pill to keep my mind off the pain.

My first post op appointment is Wednesday. I'll ask him about this and a bunch of other questions.

Every once in awhile I have a bad moment when my back tightenes up without my control. God it hurts..... I can't wait for my first night of eight hours of straight sleep. Funy how you miss the basic things.

Edited by mr.radon

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Well I had my two week follow up appointment today. I wasn't sure what to expect. I prepared by making a list of questions I had these last two weeks.

First off, the nurse was so nice. I asked her to clean off the glue residue from my bandages, she happily did this. Its nice to have that stuff off. And she removed the steri-strips. They were ready to come off but I wasn’t ready to have anyone else pull them off. The 12” cut looks real healthy and is healing very well.

Well when the doctor came in I was overcome with emotion, I gave him a big hug and thanked him ever so much for saving the mobility of my legs. He showed me the initial X-ray, side and front the ER took and why they thought I wasn’t so bad off. I remember the ER doctor being optimistic about my condition. However, then he put up the CAT scans. What was ever so fuzzy on the X-ray was so clear on the CAT scans. The doctor showed me why the ER doctor was so concerned with the type of fracture I had. I had a “CHANCE” fracture of the T-11. This is where the bone breaks into two, with the two pieces being fractured very smooth, like if they were cut with a laser. This is the perfect way to shear the cord since the fracture is the most unstable possible. Plus I had tore adjacent muscle from the vertebrae, he said when he had me open the T-12, T11 and T-10 were all loose. Also, in addition to the two big pieces my T-11 broke into I had dozens of bone fragments that exploded out when it broke. None traveled into the cord cavity. When I told the doctor I was initially not back boarded from the ski slopes, he said I was very lucky. As it was just me trying to get up could have cut the cord. As it was when I hit I put my head into the snow and lifted my ass trying to get air into my deflated lungs. I laid down and rolled over. He said I had a 2 in 3 chance in being paralyzed. I was so lucky.

Here is the great news:

1) I did not damage any disks! He checked them all out and none are abnormal.

2) I will have very little loss in mobility

3) I can fly to my sons graduation from boot camp in April!

4) I can train as much as I want given my pain tolerance

5) This will not give me arthritis as I age. It will not accelerate my deterioration as I age.

6) They gave me one pint of blood. Thanks for donating guys….

7) My recovery will be twice as fast as my shoulder surgery.

8) I will regain feeling in my lower back as the nerves regenerate, they cut them to get the rods in.

 

I can’t wait to get back in shape, I hope to be at Indian Creek this October with RuMR. If anyone else has this injury I wish them well. We are all partners in pain.

 

Best of all I’m weaning myself off the Vicadin. I’m down to one pill every 8 – 9 hours. The doctor says this is great. He said I am well ahead of the curve and doing better then he even thought I would be doing yet.

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Wow, thank your lucky stars for Ski Patrolers and a bunch of other things too eh? Congrats.

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Good luck with your recovery, you attitude seems great and attitude is everything. You asked about others who have come back, here's my story I fractured C-6 in a head plant skiing accident in 99. Had surgery to fuse 5 to 7 with the vetebral body of c-6 replaced with bone from my illiac crest. Had a cool Aussie surgeon who put a couple extra screws in the plate cause he knew I wanted to be active ASAP. Healed quickly and actually went on a climbing trip to the stronghold (which had already been planned) 7 weeks post op. Obviously I didn't lead and kept things moderate on the trip but was up to full speed in about 4 months. Heal like an animal..which means do as much as they'll let you as soon as you can.

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wow. you are cycked! it blows my mind that you didn't hurt any disks while you broke your C-11, thats frigging weird!

 

if you ever meet kelly cordes, ask him about his back.

 

good luck with recovery and regaining your strength!

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Great news. thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

 

Hey, what does the tattoo mean, if I may ask?

 

It means "RuMR is a total climbing monster and i wished i could crank like him!!" Those oriental glyphs are so efficient at getting the message across! yellaf.gif

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