A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Road to Recovery

Leslie and I paid a visit to the orthopedic surgeon today, Dr. Craig Loucks of Peak Orthopedic. We both left feeling a whole lot better about the recovery process and a lot more knowledgeable about how bones heal. With a crude drawing on a piece of paper, which I recreated on the X-ray below, he explained that after a fracture, the body sends new bone cells to the site. Those cells bind together and "weave" new bone into the "fracture gap" restoring some of the original strength. That woven bone is eventually replaced by bone that is as strong as the original bone. Regarding surgery, Dr. Loucks explained that he rarely recommends surgery on collar bones, preferring to leave them to heal on their own, but that he would consider surgery in my case for two reasons: 1) the severity of the fracture, and 2) a recent study on clavicle fractures found that surgery can improve healing in of severe fractures (it was previously believed that surgery was not as effective as letting the body heal itself). Of course, there are risks with any surgery -- esp. infection -- so he recommended giving it six weeks and reevaluating. Surgery is still an option at that point if things don't go well, but Dr. Loucks said he gave it a 90 percent chance of healing on its own.

Given his explanation, and the fact that I slept well last night, feel 100% better than yesterday and haven't had to take any pain medication, I decided to give my body a chance to do what God designed it to do! If all goes well, I should be back on my bike shortly after the new year (unless we're uner several feet of snow like last winter!).

Speaking of my bike, I'm still shocked that it looks nearly untouched, with the exception of a large dent in the top tube. Not sure how that happened, but I wonder if it was me landing on the bike. Whatever the cause, the frame is shot.

The other shocker is the damage to my helmet. Again, it doesn't look too bad, but the styrofoam core is cracked through, indicating a significant impact.

Soapbox time: Everytime I see somebody without a helmet -- usually a soccer mom out for a ride around the neighborhood with her kids -- I knock on my helmet and yell, "Hey mom (or dad), where's YOUR helmet?" So stupid. If I hadn't been wearing a helmet I could be dead...or worse (brain dead). So if you ride without a helmet, do me and your family a favor and go buy one today. Yes, it will mess up your hairdo, but if you ride hard or long enough to call it exercise, you'll need a shower anyway :)

While inspecting my bike I also noticed a major flat spot on my rear tire -- from skidding across the pavement with my brakes locked up. That's really the last thing I remember before I was lying on my back looking up at a woman asking if I was OK. She was in the car. Several people have asked me if the car stopped. They did. And they took good care of me. When I find out who they are I will thank them for that.

Thanks to everyone who has written or called. I appreciate your concern, but I am on the road to recovery...and there is no speed limit!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share your comment or question here!