I am very fortunate that at bicycle speed my other injuries were limited to road rash and a minor bump on the noggin and broken helmet. But my break is severe - about the worst pelvis fracture. Evergreen Hospital sent me to the trauma center at Harborview Hospital in Seattle. 5-hour surgery. Oxycodone for pain. Avoid it! Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC
Fractures of the acetabulum are harder to treat because access to this bone is more difficult, and because of the acetabulum's proximity to the major blood vessels to the legs, the sciatic nerve (the major nerve that arises from the lower spine and provides sensation and movement to the leg and foot), the intestines, the ureter and the bladder. Unlike a hip fracture, which can be treated relatively easily, to repair an acetabular fracture, the orthopaedic surgeon, must, in essence, fix the broken bones from the inside out.I will not be able to put weight on my left foot for 6 to 8 weeks. Weeks! No weight on my left foot! Walker and wheelchair first, then crutches. Update - July 3, 2008 Six weeks have passed and I am still weeks away from putting ANY weight on my left foot. Healing of this type of injury is so slow that they don't even take an Xray for 6 weeks after surgery. I passed the first milestone - I got to start the real physical therapy last week. (PT came to our home to help us figure out how to take a shower safely and other in-home needs.) But I am still weeks away from putting any weight on it. I was so weak that I used a walker at first. Imagine using a walker as crutches. I had to carry my full 195 on my hands. And on the worst spot, where there is no padding at all. For two weeks I bragged that the standard folding walker is great engineering - strong and light. Then I started complaining that it is woefully inadequate. Why doesn't anyone make a model for this need? Obvious: A million people use a walker as a super cane - to avoid falling. But a tiny number use it as crutches carrying full weight; there is not the market to support the model I needed. I was at Harborview for 6 days, housebound for one week. Then getting out, but not driving for 4 weeks. Now I can drive, but my energy is so low that I have to plan 30 to 60 minutes rest before any outing. And I am limited to about 2 hours on any outing. Everyone thinks that I tricked Boeing out of 2 plus months off with 80% pay. I am so weak that what I do in a day any healthy person can do after working 8 hours! I expect to return to work the second week of August, which is after 12 weeks. First, I will see how far I can carry grandson Benjamin while on crutches. Just kidding! Update - August 9, 2008 I might have been the only person at Whistler on crutches, but all the other people with broken pelvises missed a great 12 days. 9 days with daughter, SIL and 4-year-old and 20-month-old. 4 days with younger daughter. 8 with son. Whistler is filled with active people: active people have accidents, so I spoke to a couple people with pelvis or hip breaks and lots who were on crutches for months. A few construction accidents, but mostly sports. I started weight bearing July 24 after 10 weeks: one week 25% - a start; one week 50% - little better; now at 75% - a big improvement. I can use one crutch and put very little weight on it. A quantum improvement. I couldn't walk far while there. Twice I pushed myself - like walking 3/4 mile - and had to cut back a bit. It was not easy, but sure beat sitting at home talking to our dog. My energy level is still low, but I have to start working next week as much as I can. Probably 40% at first. The MS society has a bike ride September 13-14. No, it looks like a couple of months after that.