4.02.2008,9:02 PM
Oh ruts!

It's like the dog reaching up to snap at your nose.
Stalagmites grabbing at you.
They got the best of me.

Just started out on a trail ride last Saturday morning, rounded a corner and there was a dried mud hole with two ruts going through it. I didn't have enough time to pick a line so I followed Ed in front of me as he rode through the right rut. I underestimated the depth at the middle, and how hard it was. Dried mud is like seasoned concrete. Hard.

I felt the front wheel dip down into the bottom of the middle. Simultaneously my right peg scraped the hard dried mud on the side of the rut and my right foot was scraped off the peg. I was traveling about 20 mph straight ahead and my right foot was trapped in the side of the jaws of mud. It tried to yank my foot off my leg.

My foot twisted as I pulled it loose and I felt something snap. I didn't stop; kept riding for another 500 feet or so before realizing "my foot isn't working right." That sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that I knew some part of my foot or leg was broken.

Pulling off to the side before a turn in the trail, I turned off the engine and tried to flex my foot. It didn't feel right. When the other two turned around and came back I said, "I hate to say this but my foot is either badly sprained or it's broken."

On the way back to the truck and trailer I had to stand on the pegs in a few spots to navigate sand and rocks. I put all my weight on my left leg and pushed on the right side of the bar to counter steer. That was interesting.

Back at the tralier I calmly sat down, gently pulled my foot out of my MX boot and examined it. A hard greenish knob was swelling up on the side near the ankle. Pulling my other foot out of its boot, I palpated both up and down along the fibula. I knew the right one was broken.

Elevating the foot, I put ice on it for the next two hours and sent the guys out to finish their ride. Buck the dog and I kept each other company. On the way back into town, I was admitted to the ER where an x-ray confirmed my suspicion. A fracture all the way through the fibula. I was sent home with the foot in a walking splint boot and crutches.

Today the orthopedic surgeon's x-rays revealed two breaks: a hairline fracture in the malleolus, the bulbous bottom of the tibia, and a fracture shaped like a capital 'W' in the bottom of the fibula, that skinny bone that is on the outside of the ankle. That fracture is all the way through and it is displaced: the upper portion of the bone has slipped sideways, called a 'displaced fracture'.

What that means is surgery: a plate with screws in the fibula and a pin in the malleolus. Along with up to two weeks off from work and many, many weeks off from riding.

I'm not happy.


posted by Macrobe
Permalink ¤