Recovery from serious injury?

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby Buckeye-Annie » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:19 am

awilbur77 wrote:
Buckeye-Annie wrote:And please keep your story of progress coming as well! I think when you're ready for that first 14er hike you should let everyone here know. If it sounds good to you, we could organize a group hike for all of us "written-off, shattered-boned, and dislocated-jointed, smashed-up adventurers" and join you for a victory summit! \:D/ Of course it's up to you.

I like this idea, and I will certainly post something when and if I get to thinking of trying a summit. It'll likely be summer by then though.

Just don't rush or push recovery to do this before it's the right time. In your initial post, you asked for "Hope" and it seems you've already received an abundance of that. Looking forward to hearing about your progress!
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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby DenneyR » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:06 am

I had a similar injury after a slip on La Plata 4 years ago. Broken fibula and torn ligaments, 8 screws and a plate. Slow recovery but I was back running in about 6 months.......walking without a boot in about 3 months I tried to post a pic but can't make it work

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby Wish I lived in CO » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:29 am

I clicked on this thread expecting to see a badly sprained ankle. They say sprains and tears are worse than breaks. ...... but you did both. Bummer. I'm sure the break will heal, the quesion is the tendons. All I can share is the recovery time and strengthening will be lengthy. Took me a full year to recover from just having a really bad sprain years ago, but 100 % ever since. Once therapy starts (and first get good reccomendations before choosing a therapist), be diligent. Recognize the difference between "good pain" and "bad pain".
I look up to the mountains - does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! Psalm 121:1-2

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby Teresa Gergen » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:48 am

awilbur77 wrote:So how does one tell between "good pain" and "bad pain" during PT / rehab anyway?

One thing I noticed was that physical recovery often happened in sudden leaps. You couldn't do the next step, day after day, and then suddenly one morning you'd wake up and you could just feel it, something was drastically better and you could do what you couldn't the day before.

Rehab pain was the same thing. Some pain you just knew you could push, and it would be good. Some pain you just knew was going to do damage if you pushed it.

You will end up knowing your ankle and leg very, very well.

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby DaveSwink » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:04 am

awilbur77 wrote:So how does one tell between "good pain" and "bad pain" during PT / rehab anyway?

After a relatively clean fibula break just above my ankle, I went into rehab/therapy determined to tough out the pain and recover as quickly as possible. I was surprised and alarmed by how painful the therapy exercises were on an ongoing basis. The exercises and stretching consistently felt as though my leg was being pushed to far, into damaging motions. I had a couple of "break-through" exercise moments when my ankle experienced sharp pain and made terrible noises (breaking a stalk of celery?) :shock: , but I immediately gained significant new range of motion.

In short, I would suggest if rehab is hurting more than you expected and more often than feels right, you are probably doing it correctly. That is a bit scary since I usually like "if it feels right, you are doing it right" guidance.

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby John Landers » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:04 pm

awibur77- I am sorry to hear about your injury.

I have similar experience in dislocating my right ankle and breaking the talus bone in a rocking climbing fall about 7 years ago. Thankfully, the ER doc reset the dislocation as soon as he saw me and I had surgery to put two screws in the talus bone. I was non-weight bearing for about 100 days.

PT is critical. Keep your core strong and work to get strength back in your lower leg muscles and stretch and work on range of motion.

I don’t think anyone else has mentioned it, but with being non-weight bearing for long, you run the risk of plantar fasciitis setting in which is painful and hard to get rid of. I got rid of the screws in a second surgery a couple of years ago as they restricted my range of motion and caused pain in higher top footwear. I had developed a poor walking gait with the damn things too. If your alignment is off (part of why I emphasize working on core strength) look into having custom orthotics made. They have helped me a great deal. I can give you the name and number of someone I and my physical therapist highly recommend (he has both a medical and climbing background). Additionally, if you develop tightness and pain in your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, etc. and regular PT treatment and stretching, ice, etc. are not resolving it, I would also recommend looking into trigger point dry-needling. Again something that has provided me with a lot of relief, and I do not like needles.

I hope you have a good recovery. In any event as others have said want to is more important than what the doctor may say. Don’t let anyone put limitations on you. Pain or not it is still better to go to the hills than not.


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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby TallGrass » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:52 pm

Wish I lived in CO wrote:They say sprains and tears are worse than breaks.
I'll take a non-displaced fracture for $100, Alex. Like a cracked plate, those will heal 100% with no surgery, often full recovery in 6-8 weeks, and zero after effects (the heavier calcified "crack" on x-rays is the only sign). Soft tissue can lead to a predisposition for reinjury of the same or related nature. PT as soon as you get the green light. I'm sure you'll have some "drop foot" to recover.
Not sure if I'll do more 14ers. The trip reports are too tiring. :wink:

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby Sharky19 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:31 pm

Good luck on your recovery!!
I`m 1 year out from a left hip injury(intermuscular tear of the Hamstring and Iliopsoas, partial tear of Rectus Femoris head and posterior labrum). It is the most frustrating thing I have ever had to deal with! I broke my tib/fib when I was 7 and that was nothing compared to this! Soft tissue damage takes so much longer that bone fractures and I believe them to be more mentally damaging. It is easy to get depressed and angry when dealing with injuries, there have been many tears this past year. I did 1 round of PT and then re injured on Sherman ( damn rocks!) I had done Democrat, Lincoln, Cameron, and Bross 2 days prior and was just fine. SO I did another round of PT, to avoid surgery. I am doing very well now and I am back to running and training for a race and planning 14ers.
However, I am now in my 3rd round of PT because I have developed tendonitis in my rt ankle, from months of favoring the left leg and limping for 7 months. Definitely talk with your PT person about exercises for your non injured leg as well, so you can stay away from an over use injury! I am an MRI tech and I see these injuries a lot, they are like domino's and 1 injury can turn into another.
As far as how to know what is good pain vs bad pain, it very hard to tell, it will take some trial and error. It is so nice the first time you wake up and are sore from a good work out rather than in pain from injury!!! if my hip hurts from looking at a picture of an exercise I don`t do it or I modify it. Gradually work toward things, it will be months before I do a lunge in public bc I look so pathetic doing them, but I will get there eventually and thats all that matters.
Hang in there, it can only get better! :-D
Be yourself, because everyone else is taken.

Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby ameristrat » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:10 pm

We appreciate the update! Praying for you man! Your perseverence will get you through, keep your head up!
You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know. - Rene Daumal

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby Presto » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:32 pm

I can totally relate to the "depression" aspect, and wanting to do "normal" things like getting your own glass of water or plate of food (hard to do when you're hobbling and using crutches). Having to depend upon my husband (and co-workers once I was able to return to work) was humbling to say the least. I am not one to ask for help with anything.

Just to be able to drive to work or to the store to pick up a little something ... it's amazing how you don't know how much you miss the simple things in life when you're unable to do them for a period of time.

I still remember my first "shower" without needing to have a bag on my leg/foot, or assistance getting in and out.

I love to cook ... eventually, I would have the crutches handy leaned up against a counter (in case of a tip over) but would balance between the two kitchen counters trying to get dinner ready bopping back and forth like a pinball. It helped me feel useful and was mentally healing at the same time.

Once I started getting out and about (still not able to drive, and still having to use crutches with the boot on), I found the kindness of the general public to have no boundaries. People opening doors for me, letting me get ahead of them in line, offering to carry stuff for me or reach something that I could not. It will restore your faith in the common man.

Trust me when I tell you that feeling helpless, bored and worthless are common side effects of the condition you are in. And, I doubt anyone reading this thread will think of it as "bitching". Let's just agree that it is healthy venting, and we're more than willing to listen.

Take care, my fellow recovering injured one ... you will be out there sooner than you know experiencing life again and feeling even more thankful for the ability to do so.
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

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Re: Recovery from serious injury?

Postby Jay521 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:44 pm

+1 to everything Presto wrote.... Hang in there, man. And you too, Presto!
I take the mountain climber's approach to housekeeping - don't look down


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