Saturday, April 13, 2013

Recovery Advice

Looking for some Fogbee fellowship here,

I crashed going about 20 mph along Old Hickory on a solo century last weekend.  My front tire got caught in a set of train tracks that were on an angle across the road, and wham.  Since my tire got stuck, I went from 20 mph to 0 in one whack, which mean very little road rash but a higher impact slamming on the road.  My hip took most of the brunt of it, followed by my head.  Nothing broken (phew). but my hip still has a hematoma, which is finally down enough to start to give way to a nasty bruise.  I have a couple questions for veterans:
-How long does recovery usually take?  I am still really limping, can't walk/stand for more than about 5 min, and in quite a bit of pain after a full week.  Tried easing off the prescription pain killers, but can't really move at all without them yet (too much pressure on the hip and lower back).
-Ice vs heat?  Iced the first few days, now trying heat.  Neither seems to be working particularly well.
-My helmet is dented, but can't see a crack.  Can I still use it?

I would appreciate ANY advice or support, please.  This was my first real crash and I just can't believe how slow the recovery seems to be.  It is awfully frustrating for active people like ourselves to be immobile :(


A frustrated gimp


coastdownhills said...

Lindsay, I feel your pain. No,I mean I'm feeling it right now. I also crashed on the Fogbee ride last Saturday doing about 25 mph and my nice roll was stopped by a mailbox post. My initial biggest bruises were on my R hip and most pain in my right low back where it hit the post. No head involvement at all. My substantial adipose padding probably kept me from getting deeper injuries. Now my most significant pain is in my right shoulder which initially seemed trivial.
To answer you specific questions. Ice versus heat, Ice first 24 hrs, nothing next 24, then heat thereafter. Heat works better for more superficial bruises than it does for deep ones. Expect the soreness from bruises to last about 3 weeks. Some visible bruising may last six weeks.

Most of the pain from simple bruising is usually significantly better after a week. Continued significant pain requiring more than Ibuprofen is more likely due to a sprain or strain, tears of ligaments and other connective tissue. They do not show up on routine xrays. Some fractures are not seen on early xrays. Because most such injuries do get better in a couple of weeks with no specific treatment, MRIs are not usually done initially. Severe pain enough to restrict activity after 2 weeks needs re evaluation.
Replace the helmet. The visible skin on the helmet may hide cracks in the part that actually does the work.

Don't push it. Listen to your body. I hope it tells you good news this week.

Tom_E said...

SEE A DOCTOR! From your description it sounds like you haven't. You landed on your hip and could have more than simple muscular injuries. I know too many people who put off the doctor's visit and are now crippled for life. It is often said that a person who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client. I think that equally applies to medicine. Better safe than sorry.
Ice and most OTC pain killers are to reduce inflammation; heat is to promote healing and relax muscles in case of strains. Neither will help for non-muscular injuries, for which only more in-depth diagnosis such as CAT scan can determine. These aren't cheap, but why gamble with your health?
On the positive side, relatively of course, five days is hardly sufficient to recover from the type of injury you most likely sustained.
Ditto on Bruce's helmet comment.

Sean Samber said...

Good advice above!REPLACE YOUR HELMET and go see a doctor if you haven't already.I know you don't want to hear it but from similar injuries(minus the road rash) from racing motorcycles expect 4-6 weeks off the bike and possibly months before you are back up to speed.Bruises to the hips and ribs seem to take forever to heal.If it's OK with your doctor I have found the best relief from blows to the body by soaking in a bath of Epsom salts with water as hot as you can stand it.

Lindsay said...

Thanks for all this advice. I will have to work hard to quell any impatience. I went to an urgent care center Monday, and after seeing my hip they sent me to the ER. Head CT and hip x-ray were normal, though now I wish they had taken an image of my lower back too. They gave me prescription pain killers and muscle relaxants, which I am using to help sleep Unfortunately they run out tomorrow. By the sounds of it, though, my body is in the normal stages of recovery. I'll stick to heat on the sore parts and take some hot baths too.

I did wait to go to the doctor for a couple days, then exactly as Tom said, I was worried there was some damage that, left unchecked, would cripple me in the long run. It was my first experience with the American health care system, so that was added stress too. This whole cost-for-treatment thing was different, but I am still glad that "I got a lawyer" to confirm no permanent damage.

Thanks guys,

Hope to see you on the road soon